Here are some of the new and interesting articles we found this week.

The Worst Hacks of 2018 – “After years of targeted hacks, epic heists, and run of the mill data breaches you might think that institutions would be getting wise to the importance of strong cybersecurity. But it seems 2018 was not the year.

Signs and color contrast – “Contrast between the foreground and background is one of the most important factors for the ease of reading. If coloured text is used on a bright background the contrast will be weak, for optimal contrast results is white text against dark colored backgrounds. In signage & wayfinding design color is the combining factor to harmonize the sign with the environment.”

Lawrence Roberts, Who Helped Design Internet’s Precursor, Dies at 81 – “Dr. Roberts was considered the decisive force behind packet switching, the technology that breaks data into discrete bundles that are then sent along various paths around a network and reassembled at their destination. He decided to use packet switching as the underlying technology of the Arpanet; it remains central to the function of the internet.”

9 books designers should read in 2019 – “January is a time of resolutions–and while most of them tend not to last, reading more is a resolution that pays dividends. We asked a slew of design leaders for the best books they read in 2018, and why they’d recommend them. As you kick off the first week of a new year, consider putting some of these titles on your list.”

Make sense of rounded corners on buttons – “Should we swap sharp-cornered buttons with rounded buttons? Do rounded buttons perform a better usability? How do we make wise button decisions? These are the questions you may run into when you dive into the UX behind rounded buttons in apps.”

Google’s project to control gadgets with touchless hand gestures is moving forward – “Google has been working on this in its experimental division for years. Instead of tapping directly on a screen, the project proposed using gestures like rubbing your thumb and index finger together to control a smartwatch or smart speaker. With this technology, you could potentially turn on a JBL smart speaker by moving a hand closer to it or turn music on or off with a flick of your fingers. The tiny radar sensors inside the speaker would sense your hand motions.”

Ex-Apple engineer invents new UI that’s shaded by lights in your room – “Former Apple software engineer Bob Burrough posted a video of an environmentally-lit user interface he’s developing and even though it’s still very basic, it looks very promising. By using the iPhone’s front-facing camera, the iPhone’s UI shades objects based on the lighting in a room. It may not sound that exciting, but once you see it in action you’ll be wowed.”

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