Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!
Web Dark Patterns. Another pertinent article from Fast Company, focused on unveiling studies that were done surrounding the topic of Dark Patterns on the web. Dark Patterns are typically associated with tactics such as Sneaking, Urgency, Scarcity, Misdirection, Social Proof, Forced Action and Obstruction, which are illustrated throughout the article. Highlight of the article includes:
“Most websites we visited did not tell users exactly what they could opt out of. Some websites let users request not to be tracked for advertising, while others allow users to opt out of targeted advertising but not the tracking. In this case, a hypothetical shoe ad wouldn’t appear on the site, but the company advertising the shoes may learn that you visited the site. Only about half of the websites that offered opt-outs for targeted advertising explained whether opting out of seeing targeted ads also meant that users would not be tracked. Users might believe they are protecting themselves from tracking when in fact they are not.”
Mobile Microsessions. Great article from the Nielsen Norman Group, focused on the topic of Mobile Microsessions. These are sessions which usually span up to 15 seconds. The article details how to design for these types of experiences, including notifications, widgets, quick actions and intelligent assistants. Well worth a read, for the examples the author provides, but also for the insightful content provided. Highlight of the article includes:
“The word “microsession” follows the terminology introduced by an article by Ferreira and his colleagues, who coined the term “microusage” to refer to mobile usage that is shorter than 15 seconds. They found that a little more than 40% of the mobile usage was microusage. While the exact time threshold may be arguable (and may vary depending on the population — for example, another study, coauthored by researchers from Stanford University and Apple, found that for elderly adults, the microsession threshold moves up to 22 seconds), it does not really matter. What matters is how to design your apps so that you can allow users to complete certain tasks quickly. Microsessions are good for the user experience. Generally, time on task is inversely proportional with usability. Time translates in interaction cost, and low interaction cost leads to good user experience. A microsession means that users were able to reach their goal very quickly — likely, because the mobile design supported them.”
UX Writing. An additional article focused on UX Writing and the strategy surrounding it. This is a topic that spans UI Copy, Microcopy, all elements that enhance the product experience. The article focuses on explaining what UX Writing is, how to hire professionals in this field, what the differences are between Copywriters and UX Writers. It also details how effective UX writing functions within the Product Design practice. Highlight of the article includes:
“Good design practice should mean UX Writers are involved in the design process from the very beginning, helping establish your brand’s vocabulary across the various user journeys, ensures a consistent experience and is of huge importance when creating a first and lasting impression. Customer conversion and retention of your customer base is a natural bi-product of doing this well. When building a product and launching it, you need to come across as an expert. Your written content defines your positioning and tone. Although this is also marketing’s job, the actual language you use within your product plays a big part.”