A ‘dark pattern’ is a way that web and app designers make people do something specific Without them noticingas if they were subtly guiding them.
Sarah Harding, a website design expert, told US News that they are called ‘shady’ because they are not completely honest and seek to benefit the company, sometimes in deceptive ways.
‘Dark patterns’ typically aim to obtain one of two things from users: private information or money.
Therefore, it is important to be careful with whom we share our data, in addition to being attentive to patterns that can cause us to spend more money.
Ann Martin, COO at CreditDonkey, mentioned that a very common and annoying ‘dark pattern’ tactic is making canceling a service be the most difficult possible.
A simple strategy to keep customers subscribed for another month is to force them to use more complicated communication methods, such as making a phone call during business hours, rather than allowing them to use an online form.
Signing up for monthly subscriptions is easy, but canceling them is difficult, and companies take advantage of this when setting up their procedures.
Other dark patterns that could be costing you money:
–Hidden costs during the checkout process, such as shipping costs, that are not clearly revealed beforehand.
–Add items to your basket or automatically add extras as donations to the user’s purchase card without their explicit consent.
–Disorientation, or the use of design elements that confuse buyers into opting for a more expensive product or plan.
–Embarrassing confirmation, or the use of shame-inducing language to persuade users to make a particular choice. This could mean having to select a “no, I don’t want to save money” option to avoid making an expense.
–The practices of advertising a product at a lower price only to reveal additional costs after you have gone through the purchasing process.
So now you know, the next time you go shopping online, stay tuned to these tactics so you don’t end up spending more than planned.
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