There are a lot of UX designer being hired in the e-commerce space at the moment, and no doubt many will have experience competing or conflicting interests when it comes to business and sales-driven goals as part of the design requirements.

I have previously asked a [question][1] on UXSE about ethical standards for UX designers, and was wondering if it would be against some ethical or professional standard to change user behaviour without being upfront about it. I don't think we should make assumptions about whether or not our design is doing harm or not for the user, but as a minimum our intent should be to make our design decisions transparent to the user. There have been many questions raised about 'dark patterns' and 'anti-patterns' but nothing about how it fits into the framework for ethical practices and guidelines for UX practitioners (that I am aware of).

So is this a reasonable assumption to make, that we should not be 'secretly' modifying user behaviour? And I would like to know if it is against any existing or ad hoc ethical standards to modify user behaviour without being explicit about the changes you are introducing. 

Even when Google makes updates to the Chrome browser it asks whether the user wants to apply the updates rather than just doing it automatically (unless you have those settings). Creating applications and plug-ins that won't work unless you update the browser, and not letting users know explicitly that you won't support them in future versions would be an example of forcing users to change their behaviour, but it is still something that can't happen unless the user explicitly indicates that they wish to do so (I believe).


  [1]: http://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/56332/is-there-a-ux-practitioners-code-of-conduct-ethics-guide