UX Ranting 

At some point, UX designers around the world decided that all calls to action, regardless of severity, required ⚠️⚠️ GIANT WARNING SIGNS ⚠️⚠️. So this is a screenshot of the “Windows Security” control panel in Windows 10. It purports to share with you "security at a glance". It is comprised of seven categories represented by large icons. These icons may have notification badges on them. The germane ones are "Virus & Threat protection", "Account protection", and "App & browser control".

UX Ranting 

The first one has a ⚠️ icon. The call-to-action is "Set up OneDrive for file recovery options in case of a ransomware attack". The second one, "Account protection", has the same icon, and the message "Sign in with Microsoft for enhanced security and other benefits". No details on what either of those things might entail. The third one, "App & browser control", claims that "The setting to block potentially unwanted apps is turned off. Your device may be vulnerable."

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UX Ranting 

Here you can see that the big ⚠️ icons are all for actions that have ZERO TO DO WITH SECURITY and 100% across the board to do with signing into a Microsoft service, signing up for a Microsoft service, or increasing the telemetry you send to Microsoft.

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UX Ranting 

You can no longer trust what your OS says is important or not. In one fell swoop, this defeats the purpose and efficacy of *all of them*. And there are a lot of them. Not just from your OS, but from all your favorite apps, all those terrible fucking third party pieces of software you have to install to use your scanner or whatever.

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UX Ranting 

This is an anti-pattern designed to take advantage of our very real desire to not have shit constantly reminding us about calls to action we don't care to take, or to see notification badges on the icons of apps when there's nothing worth notifying us about. Interface designers are being incentivized to get us to look at their app, think, "okay, what do I need to click through to get rid of that icon badge", and move on with their life.

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UX Ranting 

I'm not just singling out Microsoft for this. Apple used to care about this level of interference with people's basic ability to focus on their devices. No longer. An absolutely grievous offence occurs in Settings.app on recent iOS releases: "Finish Setting up iPhone", a call-to-action that displays a red notification badge on the app icon. And what does this do? It puts the user into a flow to set up the following services: Apple ID, Apple Pay, Siri, and iMessage.

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UX Ranting 

I give them a pass on Apple ID: In this day and age most people activating an iPhone for the first time are expecting a smooth transition; logging into Apple ID makes that happen by synchronizing first-party settings and CloudKit data. But the remaining settings are not half as important. There is nothing critical about not using one's iPhone without these apps. And yet, the notification badge they display is the same kind as those used for critical OS security update notifications.

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UX Ranting 

I would even be fine if these icons were, instead of using ⚠️ on their app badge, used an icon of appropriate severity, such as ℹ️. Instead, everything is high priority, and you know what they say about that: If everything is high priority, then nothing is.

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