Consumer’s Reader: What are Dark Patterns and Why Do We Need to Know About Them - Part 5

In the first part of this post, we demonstrated how everyone encounters dark patterns because they have become part of the normal functioning of most platforms and sites, and we have given a definition for them. In the second part, we answered the question why we should talk about them, since we are so used to their application. In the third part we talked more about the harm of dark patterns and their characteristics. In the fourth, we explained why these dark patterns are so effective and destructive, and we began to categorize them to make it easier for us to identify them. We explained the meaning of sneak into basket, comparison prevention and misdirection. We continue with the grouping.


Taxonomy of dark models


  • Bait and switch - closely related to misdirection, refers to situations where the proposed options to the user lead him in undesirable, often opposite directions of his original intentions. When you see a very good price in front of which there is a pretext FROM, you should know that this is not your real price. A plane ticket in a low cost company, which says from EUR 25, certainly gives you the option of only 1 small bag, without reserved seat. If you want to have cabin luggage and reserved seat, your ticket can cost 60-120 EUR, so you will have to simulate a whole purchase to understand it. Unscrupulous real estate agents show on the Internet a picture of a wonderful property, because of which you urgently call the broker to ask how much it costs, but he sadly explains how he sold it yesterday, but right now there is another which looks very much like the one you liked, only 10 tram stops from your office instead of 1.
  • Confirmshaming or blaming the user is when they make you accept something so that you do not feel ashamed or unsecure if you choose the other option. For example, when you are offered to subscribe to a newsletter, one option is "YES, I want to subscribe" and the other is "NO, I'm not interested in good deals and discounts". It is even worse if after a refusal you receive a pop-up that warns you that this will delete all your information and you can never again choose to opt-in the application, which is practically impossible, because otherwise they will lose you as a consumer.
  • Framing focuses on the positive characteristics of a choice, obscuring its potentially negative aspects in order to push you towards it. “Very useful energy blocks, this package of 3 kg with powder additives is surprisingly cheap, with which you train tirelessly and achieve magical effects”, only on the back you notice in small letters some E's, some ingredients that you would not want to put in the body. Yes, dark models are also available offline not only at electronic platforms and shops.
  • Disguised advertisements or Chameleon advertising is a common dark pattern that disguises advertising as other types of content to trick the user into clicking on it. The most drastic is a mobile app or mobile version of a site where when you log in you see a hair or something else that looks like it's on your screen, you touch to remove it and an ad appears in front of your eyes, as if you clicked on a button or link.


In the next, sixth part of the post, we continue with the different categories of dark patterns. Follow it in the News of


Published on 28.03.2022 Back to news