Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.

Dark Patterns Are Designed To Trick You (And They’re All Over The Web) (Thanks to Matt Will for recommending this article) – “After looking closely at a bank statement or cable bill, suddenly a small, unrecognizable charge appears. Fine print sleuthing soon provides the answer—somehow, you accidentally signed up for a service. Whether it was an unnoticed pre-marked checkbox or an offhanded verbal agreement at the end of a long phone call, now a charge arrives each month because naturally the promotion has ended. If the possibility of a refund exists, it’ll be found at the end of 45 minutes of holding music or a week’s worth of angry e-mails.”

The Backfire Effect - How You Can Persuade Even Your Toughest Customers (Or Two Year Olds) (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “I realize my persuasion Jedi techniques won’t always work. But having that breakfast with my two year old, opened my eyes to the “backfire effect” and how it feels better when someone confirms it’s ok to feel the way I do. And even better, when they feel the same way. Now instead of heated and angry, I’m listening again. And maybe I become a little more open minded.”

Are You Addicted To Being Busy? (Thanks to Brian Zimmer for recommending this article) – “In a culture where the ‘extreme theme’ has become the norm, people are increasingly seduced into believing that intensity equals being alive. This type of life may produce heart-pounding excitement, but the absence of this addictive energy can bring about withdrawal, fear, and restlessness that is unbearable.”

How To Write Unmaintainable Code (Thanks to Cassey Lottman for recommending this article) – “In the interests of creating employment opportunities in the Java programming field, I am passing on these tips from the masters on how to write code that is so difficult to maintain, that the people who come after you will take years to make even the simplest changes. Further, if you follow all these rules religiously, you will even guarantee yourself a lifetime of employment, since no one but you has a hope in hell of maintaining the code. Then again, if you followed all these rules religiously, even you wouldn’t be able to maintain the code!”

5 Things That Will Keep You From Achieving Work-Life Balance – “Regardless of your station in life or the particulars of your situation at any given point, there are only so many hours in the day. Striking a balance between your personal life and work life can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.”

Solving All The Wrong Problems (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “Empathy, humility, compassion, conscience: These are the key ingredients missing in the pursuit of innovation, Ms. Helfand argues, and in her book she explores design, and by extension innovation, as an intrinsically human discipline — albeit one that seems to have lost its way. Ms. Helfand argues that innovation is now predicated less on creating and more on the undoing of the work of others.”

Slow Deciders Make Better Strategists (Thanks to Brian Zimmer for recommending this article) – “I think the essential lesson for competitive-strategy decision-makers is not so fast, in both senses of the phrase: take your time and don’t be so sure. That’s the mindset used by the new VP and the I-don’t-knows. The willingness to apply that mindset is what separates the good decision-makers from the bad.”

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