The More you Know: Dark Patterns in Web Design Used to Rip You Off

Ever signed up for something without realizing it, or checkout out of an ecommerce website only to find you’re enrolled in a subscription program? It happens to the best of us.

Confusopoly (aka Dilbert’s confusopoly) is an economic and marketing term referring to a purposeful act by a seller or group of sellers to confuse the buyer in order to ease the sale.

These dark patterns trick unsuspecting users into a gamut of actions: setting up recurring payments, purchasing items surreptitiously added to a shopping cart, or spamming all contacts through prechecked forms on Facebook games. These dark paterns just aren’t on the web, the The Columbia House mail-order music club of the ’80s and ’90s is a perfect example.

London-based UX designer Harry Brignull has documented it. Brignull’s website, darkpatterns.org, offers plenty of examples of deliberately confusing or deceptive user interfaces.

Design a Logo with Machine Learning

Mark Marker is a web bot that will generate millions of logos with a variety of designs until you find the perfect one.

Mark Maker is a prototype. It generates logos and refines them based on your feedback. As you use it, the system tries to learn what you like, and over many sessions, it attempts to understand the visual vernacular associated with logos for different kinds of companies.

It’s is pretty cool, and produces some good results. At the least it can give you some logos to refine and generate ideas.

Try Mark Maker for yourself.

tour_updates02

Manage Multiple WordPress Site with Infinite WordPress

Are you a developer or designer with multiple WordPress sites to manage and update, either your own or client sites? Do you need to manage and upgrade the WordPress core and Themes often? Infinite WordPress is the solution for you!

What it is
Infinite WordPress is a self hosted tool to manage multiple WordPress sites hosted on different servers, and install from an easy to use centralized dashboard.

The basic package is free, and allows you to one click updates all sites, run instant backups, plus manage your plugins and themes. Additional modules can be purchased to do a variety of tasks from displaying Google Analytics, schedule backups, send reports to clients, uptime monitors, the ability to backup to repositories and more.

Easy to Use
One of the best things about Infinite WordPress is is that it is easy to use. If you can install WordPress you can install Infinite WordPress. The core package get uploaded to your desired url, or sub url, once you go to the location of the folder you are walked through an easy install. A simple plugin goes on each WordPress site you need to manage, and you follow the steps on screen, and you’re ready to go!

Alternatives
There are a few alternatives, however they are paid alternatives.

ManageWP is the first one which is a hosted solution which offers similar features and starts at about $0.80 per site per month, and more for more advanced features. Two of the biggest advantages of ManageWP are IOS and Android Aps, something that is promised for Infinite WordPress.

WP Remote is a simple solution that is free for basic features. If you want to run automatic backups it will cost you $5 a month. However I’m not the biggest fan of the the user interface.

My choice is the Infinite WordPress solution. The freemium model is the most cost effective over the long run, and with a developer API coming soon it is sure to be the most extensible. The user interface is easy and clean, so I sugest you check it out now, and we all know keeping your WordPress core and Plugins up to date is one of the best things you can do for security.

Go to InfiniteWP.com/

dog-surf-wipe-out_1720073i

This Week On The Web

I do a lot of time reading on the web, usually flipping through content on my android smart phone via Flipboard. Here are 8 helpfull and interesting articles from around the web.

25 Tech Terms Every Entrepreneur Should Know – Here are 25 terms every small business owner needs to know, from Mashable.

Why Google banned brainteasers from their interview process – Google has recently made changes to there hiring process, after making brain teasers famous they have reportedly gotten rid of them.

8 New and Underappreciated Marketing Resources from Google – 8 marketing resources for SEO’s and marketers beyond Google Analytics, Apps, the AdWords Keywords Tools.

3 Kickstarter Campaigns That Went Horribly Wrong – 3 kickstarter campaigns that didn’t go as planned or did, depending on who you ask.

7 things to think about before creating a logo for your startup – Creating a logo can be a challenging task, here is a list of 7 things to think about before creating your logo.

The creepier web tracking technology that will replace cookies – Cookies are on the way out, here is a look from the Globe and Mail what future technology might hold.

Fix Your Mobile Site–or Face a Google Demotion – Mobile sites are more important then ever before and beware; If your site isn’t mobile friendly or creates a headache for smartphone users, Google will punish you.

Avoid startup failure – Don’t make these 7 mistakes – A large majority of startups fail, here are 7 mistakes to avoid.

wordpress-theme-customizer-example-settings-section-650x370

The WordPress Theme Customizer – The ultimate developers guide from Theme Foundation

The Theme Customizer was an exciting new development from WordPress 3.4.  The Theme Customizer allows a user to tweak the theme settings using a WYSIWYG interface, and a real time preview.  The customizer replaces custom theme  option pages, giving developers a whole new set of tools and options to give to users.

With it being a relatively new featuring documentation isn’t as readily available and tutorials are harder to come by, but I found one exceptional tutorial from the Theme Foundation that walks you through a detailed explanation of adding support for the WordPress theme customizer to your WordPress theme, using the theme_mod method.

See the Tutorial here: http://themefoundation.com/wordpress-theme-customizer/