“Beta,” A Sinister Vision For Soul-Robbing Interfaces

Great user-interface design doesn’t kill complexity, it clarifies it. But even so, there’s a fine line between empowering users and infantilizing them. Last week, Bloom’s president railed against “the urge to make everything into one giant likable button” — an image of reptile-brain stimulus/response at its worst. Now an artist named Lukas Franciszkiewicz has created a “fictional prototype” called Beta which envisions a bizarro version of the world Bloom wants to create: sterile and sinister, where “simple” user interfaces lull us to accept happiness in slavery. (Paging Cory Doctorow!)

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