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49

Depends why I was on that page. Stack Exchange sites have that warning, which I appreciate because I may have a half-typed answer left in a tab when I try to close the browser. If it's just begging/bribing me to stay, then I think it would annoy.


40

Buyer's remorse is a defensive mechanism broadly associated with cognitive dissonance. You'd typically expect to find it where a purchaser had misgivings about their purchase for some reason - either they had difficulty choosing between multiple options, or they weren't sure about some other aspect (the trustworthiness of the seller, the necessity for the ...


33

Yes - underhanded, but this is not a problem reserved for the web - it's long been an issue for print too. A couple of years ago, the EU banned pre-ticked boxes on shopping websites in order to prevent such issues as unintentional purchase of insurance or optional extras when purchasing plane tickets, for example. The legislation does appear to revolve ...


24

Pop-unders suck. The Internet has been awash with hate for them since their inception. But you know that, you need data. Research has shown that pop-under ads are almost indistinguishable from pop-up ads (pdf source), and are actually worse than pop-up ads in terms of intrusiveness in tests vs in-line ads. Emphasis mine: Pop-under ads were ...


23

Forcing the user to do anything creates a User Experience that can feel desperate and low rent. There are many sites that will use any trick available to hook the customer - the question is do you want to work on a site like that? It's a moral issue more than a UX one.


21

Probably because they want you to read an ad while they have you as a captive audience. It gives you a chance to back out before anything starts, in case you realise you're in the wrong place. Of course reason two might be touted as the official line while reason one is the real marketing plan.


19

I think what you're asking about is Persuasion Design, which aims to influence the user's actions in a way that brings benefit primarily to the business, rather than the user. I think if we're honest, a lot of us do this every day - making changes with the aim of increasing a conversion rate. Usually this is of most benefit to the business, but the user is ...


16

I always thought this was a legacy pattern to account for older browsers that were unable to trigger an asynchronous download of a file. By asking a user to download only if their browser has not started the download automatically developers could cover both type of browser. However, it is likely this has since been hijacked by marketing for tracking / ad ...


15

If a trial required me to enter these details before beginning the trial, I turn the other way and would not use the product at all. There is no good reason to gather these details in advance other than to increase the chance that the user will forget about the trial and get an automatic bill. I have all too often installed trial software and forgotten about ...


15

I'd say this isn't a dark pattern at all. The simplest definition of a Dark Pattern is design meant to trick people. Now, there can be good tricks too, so Dark Patterns are really about deceiving users into doing something that benefits your business goals but not them. There's no trickery here. They clearly present what they want you to do (Tweet), how to ...


12

I say it plays a few psychological tricks quite well. First, as noted, the feeling of exclusiveness: that not any average Joe will go there, it's not something common like (insert lots of contempt here) IKEA. Second: it creates curiosity. Just by not being able to see, you get curious about what you are missing. A few nicely placed teasers on the front ...


11

Every time I have seen them, they have been poorly done and looked suspicious to me. I just assume that there is something sinister going on like key logging or something like that (not even sure if that's possible but I err on the side of caution). I often think that the reason they are behind the window is so that they can do whatever they need to do ...


11

Yes, it's a dark pattern, because the website advertises it as free: But when you follow the link, then you find out it's not quite free - they want you to advertise their product. So it's a bait-and-switch. It advertises as if it is freeware, makes you psychologically commit by clicking onto "The Bricks" for more info. And then you find out that it's ...


11

Subscription popups that appear when a page is loaded are easily annoying, but may not necessarily affect bounce rates negatively. However, the most important factor to consider when working with any kind of forced functionality is that it will come loaded with negative connotations. Users tend to criticize advertisements not because of their very ...


10

I'm the curator of darkpatterns.org. One big problem with Dark Patterns is that they deliver great conversion rates, so site owners like using them. Sure, if the site owner gets too greedy, it can backfire - but a smart black hat designer makes sure they keep it small scale - as the old saying goes "You can shear a sheep many times, but you can only skin ...


10

Pop up notifications, like the ones used in Gmail and here on StackExchange might be a good way to get your message across. The method used on StackExchange is especially relevant because it offers information that is site specific, and often how to make ones experience on the StackExchange better. Since your message: "You were looking for XY, if ...


10

Wow, nice and interesting question! Personally I would consider that this rather depends on a person's philosophy and is more or less a morality issue. If dark patterns could do harm (financially, whatever), I am not sure this could be measured in an explicit way. The examples you gave, e.g. misleading ads, could IMO be very different from emails that ...


10

In psychology there is a lot of research into whether primacy (first presented) or recency (most recently presented) most affects the choices that people will make. To cut through a lot of theory, in most cases primacy dominates - especially when the choices are presented very close to each other in time. So if you want someone to go for a particular ...


9

A few choice excerpts from the CAN-SPAM act and the caveat that making it harder to opt-out of the e-mail than it would be to report the e-mail as spam should be enough to convince any business person with a decent head on his or her shoulders that it makes far more sense to make opting out easy than it does to deal with constant spam complaints and getting ...


9

Try this: http://www.evernote.com/pub/ikonux/stuff#v=t&n=544d5d02-e7df-4efe-b4ba-9ce74717cc43&b=0


9

This study seems to address your concerns exactly: http://interruptions.net/literature/McCoy-HCIRMIS04.pdf Here's the abstract: Pop-up, pop-under, and in-line ads have been said to be intrusive, and previous findings suggest that they could have important effects on user perception and cognition. Using a 2x2 factorial design, this experimental ...


9

Are Dark Patterns Unethical? Users will not knowingly choose something against their own interests –they will not voluntarily select a poorer user experience than they otherwise could get. Dark design patterns by definition encourage users to act against their own interest and thus necessarily involve trickery, exploitation, deception, and dishonesty. These ...


9

I don't think its a problem with your television but an issue with the fact that there is no normalized specifications for the sound on tv. To quote this article from Gizmodo "We try to normalize all the different content as best as we can," says 'John', "but it becomes difficult to meet consumer expectations without adding audio artifacts that might ...


9

Pricing strategy is not universal, and what may work on one site might not on another. You really have to do some A/B price testing, and see what works. However, I would always give the person that chose to buy at a higher price, whichever the lower price is. It will save you a lot of animosity if you do that. That said, I read a study that was part of ...


8

It is legal to do that, but you will gain no legal protection if the default state is to agree. Unless a user explicitly agrees (which means actively doing something rather than not doing something), any legal agreement that you have will be unenforceable in court. This has been tried and tested legally, so it is one of the few areas that are crystal ...


8

Pricing is an important marketing tool and well understood by science in the late 80. Supermarkets were the driver for this research. Shoping at stores is sooo incredible designed, you wouldn't believe it, if they tell you everything they do. If you search for pricing strategies online, you will find a lot of resources at universities of economy. I've read ...


7

A more innocent, less cynical explanation might be that if it's not completely clear a link will start a download, users might panic a little when they see the download begin, being, as they are, suspicious of unsolicited files and actions in a web environment. However, I can't think of many situations where a user wouldn't expect a link to start a download ...


7

So I have Firefox open with twenty tabs, many of them containing articles I want to read later. I then close Firefox, secure in the knowledge that the session is saved and I'll see the same twenty tabs again the next time I open the browser. And now I discover that there's another Firefox window open with your lousy ad in it. And that will be the last window ...


7

The problem with this question is that all of UX is a psychological trick to make the applications and sites people use as smooth and easy as possible. If these are commerce sites, the reason for this is to get customers to spend more money. So where does the ethical boundary come there? Upselling and promotion are all manipulations to encourage more ...



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