We have a mobile app (native apps running on iOS, Android, WP and mobile web) that holds many products and transactions under a number of menus and submenus.

So we have a personalised favourites menu of course, consisting of five single items based on customers' transaction histories.

Periodically, we manipulate this list and place one product at the top of favourites list, without visually differenting that item from the other 4 items.

Some customers complain about this placement and say, this is not one of my favourite items, i have never done this trx, why does it show up at the top. Strategically, we cannot give up showing that item as a fave.

What alternatives do we have to keep it look like a most used item like others without disturbing our customers? side menu image

  • can you provide visual guides? it is hard to visualize the problem based on words
    – Stanley VM
    Nov 4, 2015 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


If you intentionally trick people, don't be surprised when they get pissed off

This is a 'dark pattern' and you'll always get complaints if you stick with it.

What you're saying is "for strategic purposes, we manipulate the UI to fool users into thinking an item is something that it is not".

If you do this, you can't really be surprised that people get upset.

Every time a user realizes what you're doing, your brand loses trust in their eyes.

The trustworthy way of doing this is to highlight the additional item as "Featured" or something similar, and make it visually apparent that it's not the same as the other items.

If your goal is to have fewer complaints and happier customers, you should do something like that. Otherwise, carry on as is.

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