Dark Patterns

Dark Patterns are tricks used to manipulate users into doing things they otherwise wouldn’t do. Darkpatterns.org documents a whole bunch of these so that we can avoid using them.

Types of Dark Patterns:

  • Bait and Switch
  • Disguised Ads
  • Forced Continuity
  • Friend Spam
  • Hidden Costs
  • Misdirection
  • Price Comparison Prevention
  • Privacy Zuckering
  • Roach Motel
  • Sneak Into Basket
  • Trick Questions

Are notifications dark patterns? discusses the fact that notifications have grown from something that people need to know to distractions.


Business Methodology

  • Asshole-Driven Development by Scott Berkun is a post full of dark patterns in designing your org. Also includes Cover Your Ass Engineering, Get Me Promoted Methodology, and about 200 more.

Web design

  • Bad Forms – a website full of examples of bad forms. Looks like the last update was in 2015, but still a treasure trove.
  • The Cruelest Opt-Out Forms – how to look like an asshole when someone says “I want to unsubscribe” or “I don’t want to sign up for your mailing list”.