Visual Sugar

Subtitle: How designers learned a favorite trick of food industry and why they should stop abusing it


Image courtesy of Attn

How do you make any design better? Just add sugar to it. Visual sugar.

What is visual sugar? Visual sugar is any visual decorative element. The most common types of visual sugar are icons, gradients, shadows, textures, motion etc.

Designers sometimes use them in a meaningless and excessive way to make their designs feel nicer. The word ‘meaningless’ is key here. There’s nothing wrong with any of these per se, it’s just that they are used to sweeten otherwise flavorless and meaningless designs.

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How Tinder, Reddit, Airbnb, Etsy and Uber got their first users

Story by Serene Chen

This summer, I’ve been working on getting pre-launch buzz for a real estate startup called Suuty. This lead to lots of Googling about what kinds of strategies other disruptive companies have used to get their first users. A number of stories I found were surprising, resourceful and at the very least, interesting. Here are just a few that kept me inspired.

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Facebook shuts down chatbot experiment

Facebook has shut down a controversial chatbot experiment that saw two AIs develop their own language to communicate.

The social media firm was experimenting with teaching two chatbots, Alice and Bob, how to negotiate with one another, the Daily Mail reports.

However, researchers at the Facebook AI Research Lab (FAIR) found that they had deviated from script and were inventing new phrases without any human input.

The bots were attempting to imitate human speech when they developed their own machine language spontaneously – at which point Facebook decided to shut them down.

“Our interest was having bots who could talk to people,” Mike Lewis of Facebook’s FAIR programme told Fast Co Design. (read more)

Digital Tech / Digital Media / Computer Science