Have you noticed the Deceptive Designs around you?

Have you noticed the Deceptive Designs around you?

What is deceptive design?

Deceptive design patterns (also known as "dark patterns") are tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn't mean to, like buying or signing up for something. %[youtube.com/watch?v=kxkrdLI6e6M]

How does deceptive design work?

When you use websites and apps, you don’t read every word on every page - you skim read and make assumptions. If a company wants to trick you into doing something, they can take advantage of this by making a page look like it is saying one thing when it is in fact saying another. You can defend yourself by learning about deceptive design.


Trick questions

While filling in a form you respond to a question that tricks you into giving an answer you didn't intend. When glanced upon quickly the question appears to ask one thing, but when read carefully it asks another thing entirely.

You can see this behavior in a lot of the cookie popups around the web now, where the toggles and the buttons are meant to confuse you to allow cookies while asking ambiguous questions.


Privacy zuckering

You are tricked into publicly sharing more information about yourself than you really intended to. Named after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

This is in a couple of social media or new signup forms where the app has steps that you can skip but its is not very prominent and you end up adding more information than you really needed to.



The design purposefully focuses your attention on one thing in order to distract your attention from another.

A lot of the payment plans on SaaS apps are designed like this to grab your attention to a "Recommended" or "Best Seller" plan while making the free plans less obvious or even skipping a section for the Free plans altogether.



The act of guilting the user into opting into something. The option to decline is worded in such a way as to shame the user into compliance.

You can see this pattern in Mobile and Video games with an in-app or microtransaction purchase model. You would be confirmshamed to let your plant die or lose your teammates' respect if you do not make this purchase.


Disguised ads

Adverts that are disguised as other kinds of content or navigation, in order to get you to click on them.

A common occurrence in mobile ads, which are interactive and lead you to lose and give you a button to install and play, or social media posts that are sponsored but look the same as any other post except for a small "sponsored" word somewhere.

Photos by Tim Gouw, Tobias Tullius, Brendan Church, krakenimages, Braydon Anderson, Andrey Metelev on Unsplash

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