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Inside Design (Aug 22nd, 2019)

1. Digital voting machines are often outdated and unreliable — and Microsoft wants to tackle that problem with ElectionGuard, an encrypted, open-code voting system. The physical design of the voting machine is meant to be easy to use, especially for voters with disabilities, and the ElectionGuard application itself runs in a Chrome browser — eliminating the need for Windows or an active internet connection, and voting data can be uploaded to a private/local or national server once voting is complete. —FAST COMPANY

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2. Google announced that starting next month, YouTube will no longer support direct messages to instead "focus on improving public conversations." YouTube introduced a DM feature in 2017, which allowed users to directly and privately share videos to other users. Google didn't explicitly announce why it plans to remove the feature, but as several sites have noted, Google might have concluded it has too many messaging apps already. —THE VERGE 

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THROWBACK THURSDAY

Adobe Illustrator 

3. Today's Throwback Thursday will take another look at the evolution of an incredibly popular Adobe software: Illustrator. The program is used by countless designers and illustrators, and the vector-based software has undergone some pretty serious changes over the years. Adobe initially introduced the product as a companion to Photoshop in 1987, which required users to have a separate window open in order to see a live preview of their work. 

As with most of Adobe software, Illustrator eventually became a Creative Cloud product with a subscription model — the version that most designers are likely familiar with today. Courtesy of Intro History, this YouTube video shows the UI evolution of Illustrator from its inception in 1987 to its current form. 

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4. Google also announced a new initiative focused on "building a more private web," which is meant to eventually make it harder for advertisers to track users' browsing habits. To achieve this goal, Google's proposal includes limiting how many API calls a site can use to gather information about a user — enough to group valuable information, but not enough to create an identifiable fingerprint. —TECH CRUNCH 

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5. "Responsive web design" has been all the rage in recent years, and for good reason — clients and companies want to ensure their websites look right on any device. But, as developer Jay Freestone writes, that type of web design has its limitations, particularly when it comes to media queries and testing different contexts. Instead, he argues, developers and designers could benefit from adopting ‘intrinsic web design,‘ which is often created by relying on methods like CSS Flexbox and CSS Grid. —BROWSER 

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6. Gizmodo's Ryan F. Mandelbaum writes that browsing the internet is often "exhausting" — the regular, "fun" websites that we often visit are "now saturated with reminders of society’s collapse, brands making painful jokes, lies, outrage, and actual Nazis" — but 'Bird Twitter' serves as an oasis. While Bird Twitter still exists within Twitter, Mandelbaum argues that it somehow avoids the toxic qualities of the larger site as a whole — people on Bird Twitter primarily talk about birds, naturally, but the fact that everyone shares a similar interest allows for thoughtful conversation, new friendships, and a calm in the storm of being online. —GIZMODO 

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7. Following a similar theme to the previous article, marketing professional Jake Underwood ponders where the "web's personality" went — the early days of the web were full of websites created not by professionals, but enthusiasts and everyday people. Visiting sites like Homestar Runner and StumbleUpon, among countless other examples, was fun — and now browsing the web often feels like a chore. As Underwood wonders, will the web ever feel fun again? —INVISION 

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8. Author and blogger Blair Reeves examined one big tech monopoly that troubles him more than others: Google's hold on the browser market. Google's reach extends beyond Chrome: it owns and develops Chromium, which is the open-source code behind the Opera browser and Microsoft's Edge. Now, given the web browser's increased prominence, "the world’s largest advertiser and keeper of personal data – now also enjoys substantial control over the vast majority of the world’s portal to the internet." —BLAIR REEVES 

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9. In a UX case study, the Baymard Institute examined the use of “Install App” ads, which prompt website visitors to install the website's proprietary e-commerce app. The study found that the "Install App" ads often block important site content, appear multiple times even after dismissal, and result in a narrowed viewport if the user ignores them. Instead, Baymard concluded, websites should either deemphasize these ads or "avoid them entirely." —BAYMARD INSTITUTE

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10. Courtesy of Muzli, here's a list of nearly 60 modern color-related tools for designers — including tools that automatically select contrasting colors, tools that help designers create color palettes, and other tools that should help streamline the design process. —MEDIUM 

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Written and curated by Sean Wolfe. He is a tech reporter based in Brooklyn, New York, and has previously worked at Business Insider and GIE Media. Follow him on Twitter at @seanthomaswolfe.

Editor: David Stegon, senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology.

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