I have been doing some research on dark patterns and I saw some automated chrome tools which are using the dataset of 11k crawl by Mathur et.al (open source) for creating the automation tool.

In one of the chrome browser extension tool, I encountered that it gives an alert even when prices are strikedthrough (also known as crossed text).

Example:  U̶S̶D̶ ̶1̶0̶0̶ : Dark pattern detected: Urgency

Hence I wanted to ask why would this be a dark pattern named Urgency? In the dataset I couldn't find strike through but I wasn't sure why this was given a name as Dark pattern type: Urgency.

By definition dark patterns are manipulative or deceptive designs in user interface, however not all strike through can be deceptive right?

1 Answer 1


My take on dark patterns in general is that it is not the patterns that are 'dark' but the intention behind its usage that makes it malicious.

Actually you can apply the same 'dark patterns' where it is absolutely appropriate and makes sense to do so and it wouldn't actually be a dark pattern. Conversely, many dark patterns often are just design or implementation that unintentionally makes things more difficult for the user.

But in this particular question, since this is an automated tool with specific definitions and criteria, I think it makes sense to look at what was defined in the paper that they published to classify this.

So it seems like the strikethrough has somehow been used to increase the urgency of the information to trigger cognitive biases.

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  • 2
    Indeed. It's not just the strikethrough but the fact that it's a price that is struck through. One sometimes sees on unscrupulous sites the pattern of listing arbitrarily high prices struck through so that you perceive the non-struck-through price as a discount... when no real discount exists. Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 13:18

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