What is Dark Pattern Design
Generally, they are UI tactics that motivate its users to take direction they did not intend to take. UX Dark Patterns usually employ the principles of UI Design and good UX.
In Dark UX Pattern, color theory is manipulated and effectively utilized to misdirect and baffle users. The language used in this pattern sounds improbable and lacks clarity. The main purpose of doing this is to ensure that its users get confused and subconsciously do what they wouldn’t have done. The aim is to make more profits for companies. They dissuade and convince clients in buying the ideas that benefit their brand and product rather than the user.
Recently, Sigma, which is a global user experience ui design agency summoned big brand companies for taking advantage of their users by employing improbable tactics to gain more profits. Among companies that were put to notice were Fashion Retailer Boohoo.com, Etsy, Amazon, and Electronics Giant Currys PC World.
Features and Components of UX Dark Patterns
- Deceptive design tactics to get the attention of the user hence promoting their brands.
- Utilizes psychology human-centered technique to woo clients
- Misleading language
- Their design tactics sometimes can be scary. For instance, they feature eye-catching banners to make customers aware of their timely offers only to realize that the products do exist after a long period of time.
Reasons for Using Dark UX Patterns
Majority of firms employ this technique to direct the users to take certain actions for purposes of driving their sales. They use this design tactic when they intend to gather more information concerning their products. As if that is not enough, the majority of big brands firms do this when they want to bump up their email lists. This is to ensure that they get more feedback from customers and to send them notifications and templates on their products. By doing so, they are able to get more leads and reviews hence increasing their customers and sales.
Limitation of Using Dark UX Patterns
It sounds outstanding when you gain more sales and profits from customers. Unfortunately, when you use sneaky design tactics, it won’t take long before customers realize this. The ugly truth is that there is a high chance the reputation of your company will be ruined. When you prioritize quick wealth by taking advantage of your clients, you may end up regretting your actions. This is because they will lead to a negative impact on your business. This kind of design tactic can be very risky and tricky especially when you want to gain the trust of your customers. It is ethically inappropriate.
Reasons as to why Dark Patterns are common and Popular
As earlier mentioned, the majority of brand companies prioritize short-term outcomes. They purpose to achieve quick user experiences. They would rather focus on how to generate and gain more profits from customers than embracing their long-term trust. In most cases, this tactic works for them because they trick many people. Most companies keep on employing this idea for selfish gains. Therefore this could be the main reason why this design is popular nowadays.
Types of Dark UX Patterns
- 1. Forced Continuity
This kind of Dark Pattern trick customers into signing up for payments that are done on monthly basis. They make their clients sign up for free trials only to, later on, realize that they pay for a particular scheme or service without prior permission.
Forced continuity works through disguised adds. A classic example is where a popup can appear providing a special offer, in it, there will be a requirement that will inform you that those who stand a higher chance of winning are the ones who subscribe monthly at a fee. In the long run, users are tempted to subscribe and this how they are tricked into the thing.
- 2. Expand Shopping Basket
It is also referred to as negative option billing or inertia shopping. It happens where an extra/additional item is being provided into your cut when you undertake shopping through an online platform. This is made possible via confusing or hidden button that should be opted out. The rule for this design is to ensure that you allow the user to take the responsibility of shopping what they want. When they suggest an extra item, the item is deselected by default.
- 3. Hacking via Spamming
This one happens when services or Google applications you decided to join ask you to allow them to access your email contacts. In most cases, they often behave as if they only want you to get more friends who are using a similar service. This is usually not the case. The main reason for doing this is to ensure that they have spammed your email contacts with invitations of your people to join their services. A good example is the application of LinkedIn. The reason for spamming is to ensure that more people join your site in order to strengthen your network. This is a classic dark pattern that the majority of companies uses.
- 4. Invisible Unsubscription button
When you subscribe to a certain service/company website the ability to unsubscribe from should be simple. Unfortunately, there are certain companies that make the unsubscribed part on their website invisible. The button is totally formatted and it is inaccessible. They employ dark pattern and hence you will continue receiving their emails plus notifications.
- 5. Misdirection that is deliberate
Here, the users are directed to something totally different from what they intended to select especially through online platforms. For instance, as you take a flight you may want to select a button for traveling insurance then surprisingly you are directed to a list of your country of residence. In this case, you might unknowingly tell flight owners your country of residence. This dark pattern is inappropriate.
In conclusion, if a dark pattern ux is effectively utilized it can be among the best methods of creating and setting your own unbeatable brand as a company. You must focus on the user long-term happiness and trust. Design a pattern that focuses on user experience and not just short-term gains. A good UI design agency will always uphold ethical design. Be transparent and you will reap big.