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Dark Patterns 2012 Awards

You might not have heard the term 'Dark Patterns', but you've probably seen them in action: they're the manipulative interfaces that trick users into doing things. For example, social networks that deliberately make it difficult to keep things private, or airlines that automatically put insurance in your basket without telling you.

In a bid to embarrass companies into changing their ways, I opened submissions to the Dark Patterns 2012 awards in June. In this session, I'd like to present the awards - naming and shaming the words offenders.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What exactly are Dark Patterns?
  2. How do Dark Patterns differ from "white hat" growth hacking and marketing techniques?
  3. What are the most heinous Dark Patterns on the web today?
  4. Which organisations are the worst offenders this year, and what exactly are they doing in their UI design that is deceptive?
  5. Can we get away with using milder "grey hat" Dark Patterns in our UIs? Are there any tangible benefits in being "whiter than white" in our UI design?



Harry Brignull, Dr, Clearleft Ltd

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