UI/UX Articles And Interesting Tidbits Of The Week

March//13//2020

Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!

1.

Dark Modes Gaining Popularity. Having recently worked on a Progressive Web App, which has a Light and Dark Mode, this article is a spot on observation, on how this topic became a trend. The article also sheds light on what are the advantages that lies with this mode, alongside potential downfalls (or shortcomings). Worth a read and considering the ramifications /potential that lies with this type of engagement. Highlight of the article includes:

“There are two benefits of dark mode that are touted above all others. The first is that dark mode is less bright, so it demands less of your battery and consumes less electricity. This, in turn, makes your phone last longer and is better for the environment. But the second, and even more important benefit is that dark mode’s lowered brightness is much easier on the eyes, reducing both eye strain and helping the bodies natural release of melatonin, which leads to better sleep. All in all, longer phone use and better health isn’t exactly an unappealing prospect.”

2.

Web Design Trends of 2020. While I typically shy away from listing articles that describe “trends for the year” and so on, since in essence they typically recycle concepts from prior years, with slight embellishments, this article from Fast Company goes in a different direction. The article in essence focuses on trends pertaining to searching for veracity in content, but above all, it tackles some of the qualities of good UX, namely, Credibility, Usefulness, Usability (without disregarding the other qualities, which include Findable, Desirable and Accessible factors). Highlight of the article includes:

“In a 2016 report on a Stanford study of students’ ability to determine the veracity of information found online, the Wall Street Journal found that, “Some 82% of middle-schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled ‘sponsored content’ and a real news story on a website, according to a Stanford University study of 7,804 students from middle school through college.”Much of the “optimization” of ad formats like “sponsored content” has gone into, well, hiding the fact that they’re ads. Just look at the name: “sponsored content.” On a content-driven site, that simply implies that the content was “sponsored” by someone, much as race car drivers are sponsored by various corporations. The reality, of course, is that these are ads, even if they’re not as direct as banners. And we should label them as such.”

3.

Crowdsourcing Treatments. With the dramatic unfolding of events taking place in the world right now, this article sheds light on how technology, and in particular, the application of a gamification strategy can make a contribution in potentially aiding in the development of a solution for this massive problem. While gamification is typically based on three different vectors: Motivation, Mastery and Triggers, this article goes into a specific example surrounding Foldit, a game which allows players to basically fold various proteins into shapes that are stable (ingenious and useful). A powerful statement of technology impacting social and medical issues being experienced in society. Highlight of the article includes:

“In the past, Foldit players have puzzled together successful synthetic and natural protein structures — such as ones that helped solve the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus in 2011. Some of the players who are very good at Foldit don’t have backgrounds in biochemistry, but the beauty of the game’s design is that it makes science accessible to laypeople, and it ultimately ends up teaching nonprofessionals a lot. (A handful of Foldit players were credited as authors in a paper Cooper and his colleagues published recently.)”