1 minute read

Deceptive design, also known as dark patterns, is a practice where a website or app uses some trick to take advantage of you; to make you do something you otherwise wouldn’t do on purpose.

For example, I get really annoyed when I try to unsubscribe from a newsletter (which I didn’t subscribe to in the first place), and the option to unsubscribe from it is almost hidden at the bottom of the e-mail. The link is hard to find, and it doesn’t even look like a link because its color was changed on purpose to gray instead of blue to trick you. After you click that link, another set of tricks prevents you from unsubscribing from that newsletter.

We often face those tricks, and most of the time we don’t even notice them. Well, they are built to be unnoticed, and there are huge investments in research to design them.

Deceptive Design is a great website where you can learn more about such practices and achieve awareness to not fall into those traps. The website also brings two great resources I highly recommend: A comprehensive list of types of deceptive design and an extensive hall of shame.

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