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www.uxmatters.com uxmatters.com2 years ago in#UX Love446

Most apps and sites hide how they’ll use location information…. Sure, users can also enter a location manually, but there’s no provision for the automatic use of coarse location, so the result is that the app or site is still getting fine location information. What does an app or site do with this location information? Well, once it has it, anything it wants. Again, most apps and sites hide how they’ll use location information and simply say they need the information. But AccuWeather admits that only one use is for content—which we presume would be weather reports—but also use it for advertising and other vague terms of use, as Figure 2 shows. Figure 2—AccuWeather dialog explains their use of location information Many mobile apps and sites imply that they need location information to work better, but then use it too precisely and apply it too broadly. When designing for mobile, ask for location information only if you must have it. Then use it only for what customers might expect, instead of tricking them into sharing their personal data with every advertiser. Notification Fatigue All apps ask for permissions, so I bet…users aren’t aware that they’ve just explicitly given permission for location-based advertising. For some thirty years, we have been lamenting the misuse and overuse of pop-up dialog boxes. Somehow, mobile designers have taken the wrong lesson from this and now happily design a notification layer at the top of a page, an upsell at the bottom, and a dialog box on top of everything. On an app’s installation or a user’s first visit to a Web site or first use of an app, many insist on telling users way too much about themselves. Permissions, app tours, upsells, and in-app purchases—and, far too often, trickery. That AccuWeather dialog box in Figure 2 might seem like they are being open and honest, but all apps ask for permissions, so I bet no one reads this, and users aren’t aware that they’ve just explicitly given permission for location-based advertising. The Pinterest app, which is shown in Figure 3, provides an even better example. It has a drawer, in which the user must confirm her email address, on top of the second of two banners informing users about privacy-policy changes, and all of this after several other permissions pop-up dialog boxes and onboarding steps. Figure 3—Pinterest app’s permissions drawer over permissions banner Look closely at that drawer. You’ll see a checkbox—and it’s preselected, of course. Users’ natural inclination has always been to get rid of every dialog box as quickly as possible and get back to the actual app or Web site so they can get to what they want to do. In this case, we can expect that most people would just tap Save without reading to get on with using the app. This dark pattern takes advantage of that typical behavior in the hope that users won’t think too hard about granting permissions, sharing all their contact info, or agreeing to receive promotional email messages all the time. Limiting Mobile Functionality Many organizations still think of the mobile experience is an offshoot, so make some functions or information available only on the desktop Web site. I never thought we’d be having this discussion in 2019, but many organizations still think of the mobile experience is an offshoot, so make some functions or information available only on the desktop Web site. As the fitness-tracking service Strava famously revealed in 2018, they had let private data leak out, allowing things such secret military bases to be found. This occurred because they allowed the sharing…

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