Christopher Kohanik

Digital Designer in Calgary. Digital thoughts and musings go here.

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Dark Patterns, Deceiving Users with Dishonesty

This was an essay I wrote in 2013 for my design theory class, I’ve updated the sources and images with links, but the essay remains largely the same from when I originally wrote it.

When a designer looks at a design that isn’t theirs for the first time, a plethora of thoughts will rush through their head as they try to determine whether or not what they are looking at is a good design. Perhaps it’s not good, perhaps its terrible, or maybe it’s almost there but it hasn’t fully realized it’s potential. This thought process is also used by web designers, and they too will judge similar things, however, in the laundry list of judgements, something that might get overlooked is the intentions that the designer had for the user as they used the website. For example, if the website is an e-commerce site, the assumed intention might be that the company wishes to make a profit from services or...

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Thanks Open Sans

A large number of sites on the web use Open Sans. A few weeks ago I learned just how many use Open Sans thanks to an error I kept noticing. Now there’s nothing wrong with using Open Sans, I find it a good alternative to the default which is normally arial or helvetica. It is however not a good alternative when everything meant to render as Open Sans, does so only as the Extra Bold Italic weight.

Seeing everything in Extra Bold Italic recently happened to me while working on a wordpress project. It didn’t always display that way, a few months earlier it looked fine. I was very freaked out because googling had lead me to believe the site had been hacked. Cross checking this on my other test wordpress site, and my personal site revealed that it was also happening there.

Inspector revealed that the css had an em tag, which confused me even more because they were where I haven’t been using...

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