I'm a full stack developer with a morbid curiosity about brokenness in the technology we use every day.
When I'm not tinkering with that kind of stuff, I try to make the web more accessible by building accessible web sites and telling others how to do that.
Did you know that you can get a domain that contains an emoji?
Well, technically speaking you can't because domains only allow a very limited character set.
However, there is a workaround to that called Punycode.
You can encode non-supported characters to punycode and allow people to visit your site by entering those characters in their URL bar -the browser will take care of encoding them.
Sounds good, doesn't it?
Well, unicode is more complex than one would think; especially the parts around emoji are.
That means encoding those characters isn't easy and a lot goes wrong.
I want to showcase some ways in that emoji/ punycode domains are broken, how you can have fun with them and why you should actually just avoid them for anything you want to use productively.
If you use the web regularly, you probably keep running into sites that seem to be built to be unusable.
Thinking that it's better to assume incompetence than malevolence (and because you don't really have much of a choice) you disregard that thought and continue on with using the site.
However, sometimes people actually do act malevolently and often times building a bad user experience can lead to larger profits: People who abandon their attempt to cancel some subscription, accept to receive newsletters and store whatever tracking cookies one throws at them, simply because they are too tired from having to navigate the other options, end up being seen as more "valuable" customers.
In this talk I want to have a look at those dark patterns from the perspective of both an end user and a developer who's had to implement them to pay their rent.
I want to show you how to find dark patterns (so you can complain about them, if you're able to, which might lead to their removal) and why a job where you're asked to build them is probably not worth keeping.