Ever feel like you’re being prompted into going along with something you don’t want because better options aren’t clearly being presented? You probably just found a dark pattern.
“Dark patterns” are designs that deliberately trick you into doing what a company wants. This can take all kinds of forms, from MoviePass not canceling people’s accounts to installers putting crapware on your machine by assuming you’ll click “Next” without thinking too much about it.
Evan Puschak outlined the idea nicely on YouTube earlier this year, and his video is well worth a watch.
Being a geek is all about tweaking things to work the way you want, as opposed to going along with the defaults. Dark patterns deliberately make this harder, so it’s worth understanding how they work. Let’s look at a few examples and try to learn what this all means.
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