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Q&A: Cognitive Overlords

taught by: Alex Tait

Session Summary

An analysis of intrusive interface patterns and how we might think differently about how to approach the goals of our products and services.


Watch this presentation in the Knowbility Learning Center

Interfaces are doing too much - we've gone from cognitive overload to cognitive overlords. There is so much drive in tech to increase engagement that websites and software platforms have become obtrusive and annoying at best, and dangerous at worst. As an accessibility "consigliere", I come across issues every day that could be "fixed", but often a better choice is to remove or change the pattern to minimize cognitive overload. Let's take a look at some common interface patterns and explore why they exist if they are accomplishing their intended purpose, and how we might reconsider them and slay the cognitive overlords!

Practical Skills

  • Critically examining intrusive interface patterns, not just accepting the status quo.
  • Alternative approaches to achieving the goals of these intrusive patterns.
  • Approaches to fixing patterns that could be upgraded rather than removed or replaced.