🚨 Beware of dark patterns

Published On: May 12th, 2023

My shopping cart was stressing me out. With a timer telling me I had less than a minute left to purchase and only three items left in stock, my FOMO kicked in and I frantically checked out.

All this purchasing pressure is something called a “dark pattern”, and many of us are coerced by them daily. Dark patterns are tricks websites and apps use to steer, manipulate, and deceive us into making unintended and potentially harmful decisions.

Today is all about recognizing and protecting yourself from dark patterns.

Let’s do this!

Today’s newsletter is 296 words, 1½ minutes.

10 money things worth sharing this week

1. Dark patterns. Tricks websites use to make you say ‘yes’

2. Eye opening. How to spot (and avoid) dark patterns

3. A fascinating visual essay that explains how dark patterns work. How companies make it hard to unsubscribe. Highly recommend it.

4. Going somewhere? How ‘dark patterns’ influence travel bookings

5. Look before you book. Examples of misleading website design from the travel industry

6. Hall of shame. Examples of deceptive patterns used by companies around the world

7. Trick and Trap. FTC Report shows the rise in sophisticated dark patterns

8. Groups of patterns. Dark pattern categories and how they work to manipulate you.

9. That’s how they do it! How Adobe tricks users into a 12 month contract – a Twitter thread that breaks down the deceptive steps.

10. App attack. Dark design patterns in your everyday apps

After diving into the darkness of these deceptive patterns I’ll never feel stressed by my shopping cart again. Maybe. 🙂 Protect yourselves out there!

Love love love,

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