165

This is a constrained behavioral design problem Observations It's similar, but not identical to, a tragedy of the commons problem where participants are able to use and potentially exhause a common resource (in this case, free disposal for garden waste). This is not a problem a UX can solve without broader systemic design, but UX can make a difference. You ...


129

No, it's not a dark pattern. You're not being tricked or forced into doing something that prevents your intended action. Dark Patterns are about being tricked into doing something you otherwise don't want to do. Such as not unticking a checkbox that's hidden away and inadvertently signing up for a newsletter, or interrupting your current action to present ...


82

No, it's not a dark pattern at all. Neither by definition, nor by interaction. As JonW clearly said, no one is cheating on you to do something that will affect your intention. However... At UX, we work with data to create and improve user engagement. To do this, we use placements, colors, content hierarchies and other "tricks" if you want to call them that....


56

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.


44

The point with these kinds of things, where you rely on customer honesty, is twofold. First to make the honest route easy. Second to make the easiest route as honest as possible. I would radically change the process and divide it in to two steps. First step/screen Are you delivering: ☑ Chemicals . . . . . . . . ☑ Construction waste ☐ (Scrap) Metal . . . ...


44

I would say yes. If the only intention of the HNQ area was to advertise other StackExchange sites, they could have used neutral links, such as "Learning Japanese? Visit this site" "Love math? Visit this other site". However, by displaying questions designed to pique one's curiosity (answers hidden behind a click, like a cliffhanger), the user is guided ...


35

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 ...


31

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.


19

These are called 'Dark patterns' and these can be used in many different ways to influence users behaviour. Social networks as you mentioned put the logout button in a separate menu, Facebook in particular hide the 'deactivate' option very deeply in a settings structure. Some people also believe that you can never delete your Facebook account, when in ...


19

Could a video camera feed of the car be included in the UI? This may encourage users to think that they are being watched, even if no footage is actually kept and inspected.


19

In my opinion no. However, I do feel that the design is flawed due to lacking an option to quickly toggle its visibility. As mentioned by @JonW, by my understanding of the definition merely distracting you doesn't make something a Dark Pattern. If you examine the provided examples, you will notice that each one actively attempts to decieve you. In contrast,...


14

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 existence,...


14

Even if I don't have any garden waste to take to the waste management facilities what is stopping me offering to take some for someone else and therefore having 51% of the load being garden waste? Do you care about volume or mass when doing the charging? Most users will not know what the mass is of the different types of waste they have in their car. ...


12

As someone who has been drawn into spending more time than anticipated in the wormhole of the various stack exchange sites, I would argue that it does seem to be a way to get users drawn further into the site, but probably not explicitly a dark pattern. A dark pattern generally seems to describe an effort to take things other than the user's time, more like ...


11

It may sound strange but was once led by this type of intrusive message. I was searching for online data host service, and after looking at the suggested plans I clicked the back button. The message appeared giving me a better suggestion for a plan, and it happened that I took it. The lesson learned here is to recognize the user intention. For example, you ...


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 ...


10

Could the system be turned 180 so they are assumed to be carrying "mixed" unless shown otherwise, and pay at the exit? So, you come in, you take stuff to the people who would be charging you to sort, they look and see whether sorting is needed, and either start sorting, or give you a voucher to use instead of payment at the exit and wave you on.


9

It is not UI problem but more general UX/business process organization. I see two steps here Customer should determine "majority" of the waste. Customer should honestly choose this type of waste. As the step one is poorly formalized customer always has incentive to choose the most beneficial. Say, driver has 40% of Garden waste and 60% of other type, by ...


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 a ...


8

Let's try bringing this back to basic emotions: It's a reasonably safe statement to say people don't like being blocked from doing something. It doesn't matter whether you're on a website or in a physical store. When you want to leave and something gets in your way, then the action of being blocked has a negative effect. I had a thought that there may be a ...


8

I would tackle the problem the other way round: Don't make the users want to leave in the first place. When users visit a webpage, they have a goal. Some look for information. Some want to buy products. Some want to compare prices. Some look for a possibility to contact the company, etc. Showing an Alert with a discount offer when the user wants to leave ...


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 ...


8

First, radio buttons can have a default. So, at issue here isn't the fact that a dropdown affords you a default selection and radio buttons don't. What you are doing by switching from radio buttons to a dropdown is hiding the other options from plain view. If you are using a dropdown list to hide options from users because you've assumed they want/need a ...


8

As always, there's a spectrum here. It's not black and white as there isn't one point at which an interaction suddenly flips from being simply a persuasive pattern to being a dark pattern. It's also subjective because different people will perceive the same interaction in different ways. Both in terms of different users, and in terms of the provider and ...


7

This has nothing to do with how you feel about this. It has everything to do with what works better for your business. I run a SaaS myself, and we require a credit card upfront to enter our 30-day free trial. For some services, no credit card upfront works really well. For example, business to business software where an employee tries it out and then goes ...


6

I've noticed on Twitter's web site that if I write text into the new tweet composition field and then close the window/tab without posting the tweet, the field is re-populated with that text automatically if I go back to Twitter. I think this is far better UX than annoying or scaring the user with an alert, and given a fairly straightforward form, would be ...


6

Pre-selecting on its own is not a Dark Pattern, in fact, it's a common pattern called defaulting. I'd consider defaulting good UX as it alleviates resistance on the path of action. A user is being explicitly opted-in, saving them time and effort. They however, still have full control over what happens. It’s also a form of recommendation or social proof - “...


5

In software, what you are describing is generally know as a 'nag screen' - a popup or interstitial screen that the user has to dismiss in order to use the content. The only warning I would add is that you will be walking a fine line between encouraging your users to purchase the full content and annoying them to the point where they abandon the product. ...


5

The answers to your question all seem to hinge on where the answerer draws the line for calling something a dark pattern. So let's sidestep terminology, and get to the underlying questions. 'Dark patterns' are unethical patterns, so that makes the underlying questions: Is an always-on HNQ sidebar an ethical choice? Who benefits, who suffers, and is this ...


4

The only acceptable reason to block navigation is to protect the user from losing data. Forms that are half filled, files half uploaded, posts half written - in those cases this is actually helpful, as it protects the user if they accidentally close the browser or tab. However using it to try to prevent the customer from leaving? Not only is this bad UX, ...


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