On The Verge, user experience designer Harry Brignull explains dark patterns, the system in which a user interface is purposely made obscure in order to confuse the user and get them to sign-up or pay for a membership. Disappointing to discover that Apple employs these same tricks.
Marketing emails use this tactic all the time. You've probably seen this before. After you register to access something on the web, you're asked if you want to be placed on a mailing list. This particular approach is fairly standard but isn’t hugely effective because users have to take an explicit action to opt in. Chances are they’ll be in a hurry and a proportion of users won't even notice this text. Some websites use mandatory radio buttons with neither option (yes or no) preselected. This way the user can't get on to the next page without making an explicit choice. This in itself is still above-board. But if we think back to our anti-usability principles, we can see how not calling attention to this choice can be used to trick us into choosing something we don't actually want.
For instance, post-office.co.uk is designed to not draw any attention to the option, hoping that that you opt in by mistake. Here, a tick means no. It’s kind of clever because culturally, a tick is an affirmative action.
|De-Oiled Birds: Good for BP, Bad for Birds #OilSpill|
|Oil Executive Predicts $1 Gas in 2009|
|UPS Trucks Never Turn Left|
|“By 2020, the United States will be the most competitive manufacturing economy in the world.”|
|“The direction of the cost of storage is less clear and depends on metals prices.”|
|“The era of climate wars has begun.”|
|Facebook, Twitter Users Could Face Insurance Hikes|
|"Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December."|
|“Forget reading the book of life—we’re now learning how to write it.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“Once artificial-intelligence software is good enough to drive a car, it will be good enough to do a lot of other things too.”|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|Boardwalk Empire: Time Lapse Video|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.”|