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user-unctuous in Technology

(By analogy with user-friendly and user-obsequious) User-interfaces that attempt to soothe (or, some would say, stupify) users instead of cooperating with them. Common "features" of user-unctuous systems include: icons of happy faces; mellow colors; melodic sound effects or even mood music; help tips appearing unbidden and at unhelpful moments; and a cloying tone either in system messages ("Oops! I couldn't seem to find my old preferences file! I do think I'll have to make a new one! Please press OK to continue!") or in labelling of system components (such as the main hard drive being labelled "Your Hard Drive" -- or, with infantile pronoun-reversal, "My Hard Drive").

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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