Published on March 13, 2014
Let’s be evil! And get away with it! Let us play with dark patterns Fredrik Johnsson @hakhap
Who might I be • Interaction designer • Computas AS • Malmö, Sweden
Know thy enemy • Evil By Design • Dark patterns
Let us play • Meet and greet • Select a site amongst yourselves • Or use www.boosterconf.no
Most travelled road • Path of least resistance • Pre-pick your preferred option • Make options hard to find or understand • Negative options (don’t not sign up)
Envy • Create something aspirational • Ownership before purchase • Advertise status
1 Use least resistance Use Envy
Pride • Dispel doubt by repeating positive messages • Gain public commitment • Certification and endorsement • Personal messages hit home
Much more • Make it into a game • Don’t finish, win • Skill, not luck
2 Use pride Use greed
Desirable • Say “I love you” • In-group • Make something free
3 Use desire
Dark patterns A Dark Pattern is a type of user interface that appears to have been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.
Bait and Switch This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it is very broad in nature – many dark patterns involve some kind of bait & switch The user sets out to do one thing, but a different, undesirable thing happens instead.
Faraway Bill With snail mail bills, you received a detailed breakdown each month. With online bills, few companies will email you the detailed breakdown, citing security concerns. Instead, you have to remember to log in, then go through the tedious process of navigating to your most recent bill. As a result, a certain proportion of people just don’t bother – and as a result they forget about the costs of the service, and aren’t able to react unexpected additions to the bill. Utility companies traditionally sent out monthly bills by snail mail, but today they tend to put them online – leading to bills that are rarely seen and easily forgotten. How you receive your bills is framed by companies as a choice between “offline” and “online”, but is in fact also a decision of “push” versus “pull”.
Trick Question The user is required to respond to a question (typically in the checkout process), which, when glanced upon quickly appears to ask one thing, but if read carefully, asks another thing entirely.
Misdirection The attention of the user is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another.
Sneak into basket The user attempts to purchase a specific item. However, somewhere in the purchasing journey the site sneaks an additional item into their basket, often through the use of an opt-out radio button or checkbox on a prior page.
4 Use any or all of the dark patterns and evil design to create the «ultimate one»
Fredrik Johnsson Senior interaction designer @hakhap Computas.com http://darkpatterns.org/ http://evilbydesign.info/
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