We all know that the internet is an unregulated and often unfair place, but there’s a whole other layer beneath it. The web is filled with people who are trying to get you to do things they want you to do. Sometimes, these tricks are obvious, like the “have you tried turning it off and on again” meme, but other times they’re subtle enough that we don’t even notice them—like dark patterns. For those of you who aren’t familiar with dark patterns or how they work, let me explain briefly:
You might not have heard of “dark patterns,” but you’ve certainly seen them. These are the tricky web designs that aim to trick customers into doing something they don’t want to do. Dark Patterns are basically ways of tricking the user into doing something that they don’t want to do. They’re everywhere, and I’ll try to give you an idea of what they are, and how to avoid them. You can’t avoid dark patterns. They’re all over the internet, from websites to apps, and they’re all created with one goal in mind: to get you to take action — whether that’s signing up for an account, buying a product or clicking a link. Dark patterns use psychological principles like reciprocity and loss aversion to entice you into doing something you wouldn’t normally do.
Don’t fall for these tricks. Dark patterns aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but they can be used by companies and websites to manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do. The best way to avoid falling prey is being aware of them in the first place. If you see a dark pattern, don’t be afraid to call it out!
We hope this blog post helps you understand the kinds of dark patterns that are used online. If you’re ever unsure about something that seems suspicious or unsavory, think twice before clicking on it!