It’s always a balancing act between creating best experience for the user and achieving business objectives, but there are some companies who go straight for your wallet and brush you aside like some cheap whore.
Dark Patterns is a brilliant look into the evil side of design, UX decisions that can’t simply be put down to errors of judgement and poor design skills – no this shit is far, far more sinister. Quite simply, these well known companies are trying to screw people in one way or another.
Take a look at the Ryan Air example in the slides and how they put the option to opt-out of insurance half way down the list of countries! Other examples of those practising this dark art include Moneysupermarket and Go Compare.
Each type of evilness has a name, there’s dozens including:
- Roach Motel
- Bait and Switch
- Sneak into basket
- Forced Continuity
- Trick questions
- Hidden costs
- Privacy Zuckering
- Price Comparison Prevention
- Disguised Ads
- Friend Spam
- Forced Disclosure
Don’t forget mobile has its own set of Dark Patterns too –
Remember the Crazy Frog ringtone? Thousands of complaints rolled in from kids & adults that purchased the tone (shame on you) and had unwittingly subscribed to getting tons of premium rate text messages each week at the cost of £3 per SMS.
Oh and what about Android? Operators are now shipping handsets with apps that you can’t delete, which provide services to the user…at an additional cost of course. A spokesman for HTC said “It’s different from phone to phone and operator to operator, but in general, the apps are put there to meet the operator’s business and revenue needs.”
The scary thing is that this is just getting started. It’s already spreading into social media, one example is forcing users to ‘like’ before viewing (hello Nike).
Find out more about the author of the site at the great blog 90percentofeverything.com