Do You Know How Dark Patterns Affect Your Digital Lives? If Not, It’s Time You Did!

dark-patterns

Dark Patterns: Interfaces That Trick You!

At times, doesn’t it seem like a pretty hard job to delete your account on a particular website? Well, you’re not alone!

Dark patterns are carefully crafted design patterns and elements that are built to misdirect and confuse the end user.

UI Design patterns that are created to manipulate your decisions are known as dark patterns in the world of design. Dark patterns are not mistakes or ill-designed things, they are deliberate design choices that actively try to trick the end-user.

Most Common Dark Patterns!

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A. Auto-Renewal Subscriptions

Trick – Hiding key information or making it extremely laborious to access is another form of a dark pattern, categorised as misdirection.

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Credits – What Users Do

From hidden costs to hidden design elements, companies make it difficult to deselect a service or deselect from a subscription.

i) No Explicit Consent – Tricking users by adding on subscriptions when buying online or tricking the user to pay extra for insurance or any other value-added service without their explicit consent.

 

ii) Intentional Misdirection – No clear messages on payment deadlines or any other kind of recurring communication is another form of misdirection, which is itself a form of a dark pattern.

B. Invisible Unsubscribe

Trick – Making it extremely difficult to even find an unsubscribe option buried in the UX interface. Another type of common dark pattern.

dark-pattern-examples
Credits – UX Planet

Going out of the way to make sure that the user is not able to find the unsubscribe option by choosing to make the design a certain way. 

Unsubscribed Button is buried in the design above. It’s not looking to be found. Pure trickery!

By using colour, button and inconsistent language, companies are well aware of their usage of sly UI-UX design choices. Dark patterns bring out the worst in efforts to market a service or product.

C. Spamming Like Linkedin

Trick –  “Add connections” feature on Linkedin tricks customers into giving them access to your email and contact data. Then sharing emails and content posing as you! [Pure Evil]

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Similar to Linkedin, many companies automatically enrol us in say email chains or newsletter by burying the required permissions in the T&C section which is extremely hard to comprehend.

Making it difficult for customers to delete or unsubscribe is part of a dark pattern that companies employ to raise their marketing efforts or direct profits.

Fighting Dark Patterns?

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Awareness

Learning to identify certain dark patterns and actively helping i.e by reporting dark patterns or any such unethical behaviour will not only help you save money or time but will also make the internet a much more credible place.

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Tired of this!

Pushing For Ethical Design – It works

Privacy and ethics on social platforms have been the rage this year. It has been all over the news this year, and with good reason. Some of the offenders for such tricks are some of the world’s biggest companies such as Facebook, Linkedin and Microsoft.

Companies Take Action If Reported – Reporting such patterns to the companies in large numbers is a good way to start when fighting against dark patterns.

fighting-against-dark-patterns

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ii) Some are Fined [Ex – Linkedin Fined 13M] – Design is a skill. A skill that should be embedded with empathy towards the end-user. The end-user should not be viewed only in terms of money but more of a customer.

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Engagement is a skill, dark patterns are trickery at its best.

A designer should define their values and companies should outline the values and work towards a more engaging a much more user-friendly design. Such a commitment is the only way to go forward.

Similarly, a good office workspace such as a coworking space can help you more engaged with your work. Take a look at the amazing workspace and feel free to give it a visit.


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Suggested Reading:

Why Dark Patterns Won’t Go Away by John Brownlee

Small Acts to Shift Big Things with Hannah du Plessis

3 Things Millennials Want To See In Their Workplace! With Innov8 Coworking

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