Dark UX patterns

How to be a light in the darkness for our users

former Head of Design

Product Manager

Lisa Gringl

Basically, better, fairer and more sustainable coffee for everyone.

What are dark UX patterns?

Features of interface design crafted to trick users into doing things they might not want to do, but which benefit the business.

- UX Specialist Harry Brignull

www.darkpatterns.org

Antipattern vs. dark UX pattern

How to be a light in the darkness for our users?

Be able to spot dark UX design pattern & shame the companies that use them

1

2

Follow the happy path

3

Know facts about dark UX pattern

4

Be able to categorize them on a scale

Misdirection

Dark UX pattern 1

Disguised Ads

Dark UX pattern 2

Bait and switch

Dark UX pattern 3

Roach Motel

Dark UX pattern 4

Roach Motel

Dark UX pattern 4

Cancellation of membership not possible on the phone*

* Except when you know the "Request desktop site" in your web browser

Forced Continuity

Dark UX pattern 5

Trick question

Dark UX pattern 6

Privacy Zuckering 

Dark UX pattern 7

Price comparison prevention

Dark UX pattern 8

Hidden costs

Dark UX pattern 9

Sneak into basket

Dark UX pattern 10

Confirmshaming

Dark UX pattern 11

Confirmshaming

Dark UX pattern 11

Friend Spam

Dark UX pattern 12

Friend Spam

Dark UX pattern 12

Scarcity inflation

Dark UX pattern 13

https://twitter.com/OphirHarpaz/status/1184486445039411201

Scarcity inflation

Dark UX pattern 13

How to be a light in the darkness for our users?

Be able to spot dark UX design pattern & shame the companies that use them

1

Be able to categorize them on a scale

2

It's not just black & white

Categorize Dark UX

Categorize Dark UX

Immediate monetary value

Categorize Dark UX - Example

Categorize Dark UX - Example

Be aware: they don't remind you about it - on purpose

Categorize Dark UX - Example

How to be a light in the darkness for our users?

Be able to spot dark UX design pattern & shame the companies that use them

1

Be able to categorize them on a scale

2

Follow the happy path

3

Start with the user

Follow the happy path

Good UX design

... yes but:

I work in a company that uses dark UX patterns, I can't really do anything as UX designer / developer, as they already made the decision.

How to be a light in the darkness for our users?

Be able to spot dark UX design pattern & shame the companies that use them

1

Be able to categorize them on a scale

2

Follow the happy path

3

Know facts about dark UX pattern

4

Dark UX pattern lead to KPI improvements

Facts against dark UX pattern

Only short term effect! Long term effect: customer lifetime decreases. 

You will lose customers - forever!

Dark UX pattern lead to KPI improvements

Push for metrics

Facts against dark UX pattern

Help to argue against the #1 argument:

  • How many customers convert
  • How many customers of the converted ones ares still with your business after 3 months

Help to show long-time business value:

  • A lower number of customers will convert
  • Your customers will stay longer (or return)

The UI option that holds a dark UX pattern shows the best results in A/B testing

Facts against dark UX pattern

Yes: The number of sign-ups in an A/B test will be higher - it doesn't matter as you bullied or tricked them into it.

Decreases your user experience, the brand perception and the credibility of your service.

The UI option that holds a dark UX pattern shows the best results in A/B testing

All the big companies are doing it: Facebook, Amazon, ....

Facts against dark UX pattern

Yes, but it still does not mean it works for your company - e.g. some of them have a Monopoly

Times change, employees can make a difference

Long-term:

Facts against dark UX patterns

  • You will lose customers

  • You have a hard time making new customers

  • You will lose money

... yes, but I don't think the company I work in will change...

Be conscious and aware of what you’re endorsing with your time, not only for the welfare of others but for your own sense of self.

The work you choose to take on defines you.

- Interaction designer Stephen P. Anderson

How to be a light in the darkness for our users!

Spot dark UX pattern & shame companies that use them

1

Being able to categorize them on a scale

2

Follow the happy path

3

Facts against dark UX pattern

4

- Questions?

Lisa Gringl, @kringal, www.cropster.com

Thank you!

Dark UX patterns

By Lisa Gringl

Dark UX patterns

How to be a light in the darkness for our users

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