Infographic about harmful app UI design building blocks (wiki post)

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Harmful UI - building blocks

Name Description Why is it harmful
Infinite scroll Scrolling down in a web page with a list of item (i.e. photos, videos, …) never leads to an end. You can scroll down for hours (opposed to pagination, like in google search results). When we scroll down our social home, for example, we wait for a potential reward (a cool photo or video), that may come out or not. While we wait for it, our brain is fed with some dopamine, that comes for our expectation of the reward (not from the reward itself, which may even never come - like at the slot machine)
red icon with number of unseen notifications Red circle or square, usually at the lef or right hand upper corner, with a number, indicating how many unseen notifications you have. The red colour means danger to a lot of animals, and to humans too. So we have the strong desire to remove any red circle or square from our sight. Thus in the app we are driven to look for any new notifications.
Number of followers / likes / etc Counters of various social variables, like number of followers you have or likes to a photo, video you posted. Numbers stick to us very strongly and make all seem like a game. And in any game we want to win. So we tend to put a lot of effort in increasing the number of our followers or likes to our posts, even if behind that number there’s no real meaning or attachment by others.
Variable Rewards System You do not always get notifications, but your brain lights up when you do. Variable rewards keep us attached to devices and social media platforms. We keep checking back again and again to find out if this is the time we will be rewarded. When we are not rewarded, we are motivated to check back again. It becomes a cycle.
New icons are being created Facebook is now creating steaming coffee cups, hands, and other icons that appear beside users’ names. Identity is enhanced: users become known as “visual storyteller,” “rising star,” etc. and post more in order to earn these attributions.