April 27th, 2015 by Michael Sauers

In light of Google’s new ranking system that takes into account how mobile-friendly your site is, Google has mad a Mobile-Friendly Test site available.

Google Mobile Friendly Test


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November 7th, 2014 by Michael Sauers


My podiatrist has an online portal for my health records. I’m logging in for the first time and I’m really at a loss at this point…

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July 18th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Where's WaterlooKerstin Habenicht, a librarian at Waterloo Public Library, had a volunteering applicant stand her up for an interview last week. On Monday, Habenicht received an email with an interesting excuse.

The applicant arrived promptly on time at 3 p.m. in Waterloo, Iowa. The interviewer was ready right at 3 p.m. — in Waterloo, Ontario.

“Our summer reading club this year has a detective theme — Agent 009. Unfortunately, I just failed my detective exam,” Habenicht, children’s program coordinator for the Canadian library, said.

The entire time the two were e-mailing, they never realized they were communicating internationally, from 757 miles apart.

According to librarians, this kind of thing happens all the time.

Read the full article @ The WCF Courier. (Thanks Allana!)

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August 30th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Maze Wallpaper GreenHarry Brignull is a London, UK-based independent user experience designer with a PhD in cognitive science. He is also the founder of Dark Patterns, which is dedicated to, in his words, “naming and shaming websites that use deceptive user interfaces.” This article is based on a presentation he gave at the Search Marketing Expo in Munich this past April.

When Apple released iOS 6, one of the few new features not enthusiastically promoted by the company was Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) ad tracking. It assigned each device a unique identifier used to track browsing activity, information advertisers used to target ads. Even though IDFA is anonymous, it’s still unsettling to people who worry about privacy.

Fortunately, Apple included a way to disable the feature. You won’t find it in the privacy settings, however. Instead, you have to go through a series of obscure options in the general settings menu. Now, “General” is a crappy name for a menu item. It’s mainly a bucket of miscellaneous stuff that they didn’t know what to do with. In the “General” menu, select “About.” Down at the bottom of this menu, next to the terms of service and license items, there’s a menu item listed as “Advertising.”

If you haven’t been here before, the only option in the advertising menu, “Limit Ad Tracking” is probably selected “Off.”

But let’s take a closer look at the way this is worded. It doesn’t say “Ad Tracking – Off” it says “Limit Ad Tracking – Off”. So it’s a double negative. It’s not being limited, so when this switch is off, ad tracking is actually on.

Off means on!

This is actually a great example of what I define as a “dark pattern.”

Read the full article @ TheVerge.com.

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April 18th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

GOV.UKYes, a government Web site has been awarded a design prize!

…at a ceremony in London, the site was named the 2013 Best Design of the Year by the Design Museum, beating out 99 shortlisted buildings, inventions, and cars for the honor. It’s the first website to ever win the six-year-old title, too—which illustrates just how remarkable the achievement really is.

Here’s what makes it so deceivingly special.

Why does a straightforward, cut-and-dry website deserve the award? Because of that straightforwardness, actually. “There were thousands of websites, and we folded them into Gov.uk to make just one,” says Ben Terrett, head of design at the UK’s Government Digital Service, in a Dezeen-produced video. “Booking a prison stay should be as easy as booking a driver’s license test.”

Read the full article on Gizmodo.

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