July 5: Dark patterns

If you've ever unintentionally signed up for something or have had trouble canceling a subscription, then you’ve probably fallen victim to dark patterns.

Source: UXP² Dark Patterns
Published: April 2021

Dark patterns

Ever unintentionally sign up for something or have trouble canceling a subscription? Then you’ve probably fallen victim to dark patterns. User experience (UX) dark patterns are tricks where designers purposefully use deceptive functionality to steer users to make decisions that are not in their best interest. 

There are three types of dark patterns you’ve probably come across on popular apps and websites.

1. Nagging
Description:
Recurring redirection of expected functionality.
Example: When an app asks, “Are you enjoying this app?” and then prompts you to leave a review in the app store.

2. Obstruction
Description:
Complicating a process to deter specific user actions.
Example: Although you signed up for a subscription online, you have to call during business hours to cancel it.

3. Interface Interference
Description:
Manipulating the user interface to promote certain actions.
Example: The checkbox that says “sign up for our newsletter” is checked by default when filling out a form.

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