Cognitive Overlords

Alex Tait (she/her)

Interfaces are doing too much - we’ve gone from cognitive overload to cognitive overlords. There is so much drive in tech to increase engagement that websites and software platforms have become intrusive and annoying at best, and dangerous at worst. As an accessibility “consigliere”, I come across issues every day that could be “fixed”, but often a better choice is to remove or change the pattern to minimize cognitive overload. Let’s take a look at some common interface patterns and explore why they exist, if they are accomplishing their intended purpose, and how we might reconsider them and slay the cognitive overlords!

Link to the presentation slides