Interface This!

I was reading this article at EFF and it reminded me about the discussion of interfaces we had in class… what do we mean when we say interface and how are we being trained with all the interfaces we use as a daily basis etc etc.

“…As Conti describes it, a good interface is meant to help users achieve their goals as easily as possible. But an “evil” interface is meant to trick users into doing things they don’t want to. Conti’s examples include aggressive pop-up ads, malware that masquerades as anti-virus software, and pre-checked checkboxes for unwanted “special offers”…”

4 responses to “Interface This!

  1. mattzitterman

    I think its hard to define the “evil” interface because the concept of deception is different for every user. For example, I don’t find many interfaces to be “evil” because my fluidity with computer/Internet interface makes it easy for me to detect “fishy things”. On the other hand, my father sees many interfaces as more “evil” because of his lack of familiarity with computer/Internet interfaces.

  2. nlyonssmith

    Evil is definitely a point of view, but is good? I think most of us agree that Apple has excellent design and interface, and this is what makes them attractive to many people.

    For the record, Facebook definitely has an EVIL interface when it comes to changing settings.

  3. Great link. I definitely think there are evil interfaces, if you think continually trying to monetize something that should be free, or purposely deceiving you into giving away personal information, yes that is evil. While Conti is right, if you are aware, you can get around some of these problems, however, I wonder how many people get duped by evil interfaces because there’s no interface “training” that tells you watch out for the checked boxes when you sign up for websites, or people that just assume the intentions of the interface are good.

  4. mdimopoulos

    After the presentations yesterday, I wondered what impact these interfaces have on digital natives vs. digital immigrants?

    I know not to trust all the email that comes flooding into my inbox and not to just click haphazardly on every popup box that appears on my screen but I know some people who I have worked with in the past just don’t care… they just want the app to install so they can play their flash games at work or just keep clicking next until they have ‘control’ of their computer/interface back.

    Where is the line between interface savvy and interface apathy?