Also stop letting marketplace sellers email me begging for feedback after every marketplace item I accidentally order. I try my best to not order marketplace seller items anymore but when I accidentally do (or buy a gift for someone that is only offered this way) I always end up getting emails from these guys. Are you sharing my email address with them? Does unsubscribing or responding to them share my email address with them? I have no idea. There is never anything useful and it's impossible to unsubscribe from all past and future marketplace emails which is really annoying. Come on, amazon, I really want to love you and continue shopping there but it's getting to the point that I'd rather go to wal-mart! (ok not really)
But maybe that's just me.
I love the Amazon marketplace. (I also hate the 3rd party seller feedback emails but I have strict email filters so who cares)
eBay and AliExpress do what Amazon Marketplace does better than Amazon Marketplace, but Amazon wins because they've leveraged their success as a store for it.
I find AbeBooks to be very good for that. Ironically, they were acquired by Amazon, but they are still a separate system.
I am a seller on Amazon. I didn't think I have access to email addresses but you got me curious. I just went into an order and clicked "contact buyer." It gives a contact form that has the receivers address as something like email@example.com with a note "IMPORTANT NOTICE: When you submit this form, Amazon will replace your email address with one provided by Amazon in order to protect your identity, and forward the message on your behalf. Amazon will retain copies of all e-mails sent and received using this service, including the message you submit below, and may review these messages as necessary to resolve disputes. By using this service, you consent to this action."
Personally, I don't contact my buyers at all ever unless its a reply to a question they asked me.
On the email front, I've been getting bizarre emails from Trulia about 1-2 times a month for the last six months. I don't open them but the subject is "1 new rental available in $(my town)." I own a house and I don't remember giving Trulia my email address ever even when I was apartment hunting many years ago. This only started six months ago. I wonder how I got on that list?
I'll take "Common RFC 821/2321/5321 myths" for $300, please.
RFC 5322 and RFC 5321 are very emphatic that the local part has no semantics whatsoever except those given to it by the MTA. There is no semantics for what "+" means in the standards.
No, but they are only targeting gullible people anyway so they don't bother:
> Finally, this approach suggests an answer to the question ["Why Do Nigerian Scammers Say They are From Nigeria"]? Far-fetched tales of West African riches strike most as comical. Our analysis suggests that is an advantage to the attacker, not a disadvantage. Since his attack has a low density of victims the Nigerian scammer has an over-riding need to reduce false positives. By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select, and tilts the true to false positive ratio in his favor.
(Which is really depressing and shows just what awful people these spammers/scammers are.)
Real spam however, rarely makes it into my inbox - it gets filtered out and deleted without ever being opened.
It is. Default checked "subscribe" boxes during sign in, hidden settings, new lists which you are auto subscribed to; it's a never ending battle and the incentives are wrong. If there was no unsubscribe link but only the spam button, publishers would be much clearer about these things.
Ironically, the unsubscribe link has probably led to more spam, rather than less.
And yes, you should only ever follow links for companies that you are confident are not spamming you out of the blue, because of the danger that you are just confirming your email address is active.
My other gripe is that I'm not sure how anyone is going to tell that I have clicked on a word in an email, given that it's displayed on an xterm. But if they say that by clicking on it I am unsubscribed, it's their problem to make sure it happens.
If they're not confirming your opt in they're spamming you, especially if your opt-in is the result of a default-checked check box.
But really the problem got so bad I had to stop using gmail alltogether.
Moved over to mail.yandex.com and now I do not get interrupted anymore in my life.
Thank you email and IM and "notifications" but no thank you, if I ever receive a notification of any kind, that account will either get nuclear delete option or disabled forever.
Time to move to new email providers and new emails, and stop pretending email address is an ID, because its not, its a mailbox, when it gets full create a new one, and only people you care about and when you care will receive its attention.
Bulk email can be split into two categories: Opt-in and Opt-out. Opt-in is email that an individual requested or agreed to receive. Many legitimate mailers use opt-in methods for marketing. Individuals are responsible for reading and understanding a company's privacy policies and acceptable use policies (if applicable) before submitting an email address. If a privacy or acceptable use policy clearly states that signing up for the service results in receiving marketing or commercial email, then the individual has "opted-in" to receive email and that email is not spam.
A company emailing you when you have given them your permission to email you, but about certain topics you decide you don't like is not spam.
Companies know there's a risk of unsubscribes with every email they send. If they have several lists, they ought to show all lists you're subscribed to, with an option to unsubscribe from them all. They might actually keep some legitimate subscribers that way.
I've begun adding 1-star reviews when I get requests begging for feedback. Seems like the only thing I can do to discourage the behavior
Did you try unsubscribing from all their newsletters?
Rate our app!
<OK> <Not Yet>
And yeah, it's UX cancer.
Read the "Step Into The Light" section.
9.3.5 => 10.0 is not a "security update".
Constant nagware until you update is asinine. "Update Now or Later?"... f* you, I don't like what I see in 10... but I'm stuck with dancing around daily fucking warnings.
I swear... I'm not bitter :) I also won't buy another iPhone.
Just bought a new Android table and it had lollipop. Turns out you cannot get the most recent OS for it so I am stuck with a 2 year old OS.
It also depends on the Android device. I have a Nexus 6, released 2014, that's on the latest Android 7 (Nougat) and my old Nexus 4, released 2012, is on Android 5 (Lollipop).
Maybe I would have preferred if my Nexus 4 also got upgraded to the latest, but then again it might not have the needed juice, I like very much how it runs right now and all the apps I use still work and receive updates. And I also have an older iPad that got upgraded by Apple and is now unusable.
Even so, with Apple there's no way out - once upgraded, it stays upgraded and once support is dropped, it stays droppped. With my Nexus I have a choice - because of Android's nature I can always use CyanogenMod. It's not exactly a solution for the non-technical-savvy, but it works.
On a more serious note, in my opinion updates are an exemption and the user should be urged to do them.
XP sucked until SP2. 8 sucked until 8.1u1. 10 gets better each roll.
My issue with iOS 10 is the changes to the underlying flow (like unlocking the phone) and the lack of tweakability (basic issue with iOS). Naggware on top of that grates my nerves.
* It won't download over cell towers
* It won't download if less than 1GB available on phone
Now, I've got to balance my space to within 1gb and minimize time outside of that while on Wifi.
Swap out audio books? Take too many pictures/videos? Podcast downloads? Game/App downloads?
I know this option exists... and it's just as crappy - if not more so - than clicking "No" every day.
On every single minor "security" update...
I'm of the "avoid popups at all cost" school of UI design. As soon as you let developers have modal UI that isn't meant to accomplish a specific, user-initiated task, they will immediately start using that power to be obnoxious.
Why? If the developers produced a product that works and sold it to a user at a fair price, why on earth should those developers then have some sort of indefinite responsibility for producing updates because other people chose to break compatibility?
There is a reason we have standards and there is a reason it's important for system software in particular to define and support standard interfaces. In fact, that is arguably the primary function of an operating system: to provide a stable platform on which other software can run.
The fact that some of the main OS providers no longer seem to recognise this and instead consider instability and backward-incompatibility to be strategic assets makes me genuinely afraid for the near future of our industry. If I want to do something as simple as buying a laptop for one of my small businesses tomorrow, so someone can get on with useful work and will be able to continue doing so for a long time, there are currently no good options available.
Now Apple breaks backwards compatibility with this software when I upgrade.
Even in the case of the software maker still being in business, should they have to provide me free upgrades for life? If they do that then they have diminishing profits with every upgrade. On the flip side, should I have to pay for a new license when I don't need the new features and am perfectly happy staying on the existing version if it only would continue to work?
To give two quick examples of this I used to run Parallels on my Mac so I could run a couple of Windows apps that I absolutely had to have and it would have been very inconvenient to use a boot camp setup and reboot every time I needed access. Then when the Mac version changed Parallels quit working; my only option was to buy a new license for Parallels. To make matters worse; you never really know what software will break when there is an upgrade, but if you don't upgrade then you end up in the boat that some other piece of software you are running does get updated, but you can't use that software without getting the latest version of Mac.
When I compare this to Windows; I'm still running today on Windows 10 software that I purchased for Windows 95. For all of the many things I dislike about Windows; the one thing I applaud them for is their level of backwards compatibility.
Update: Still getting nuisance notifications.
Long story short, I'm pretty sure this phone is my last iPhone.
Holy sh*t! That's really low.
The only one where I can give an honest answer is "No, I love my laptop too much to upgrade." I'm actually having exactly this problem. I would like to upgrade to a new notebook with more RAM (4 GB soldered in is becoming a bit claustrophobic these days), but I have several rare autographs on my notebook cover and don't want to abandon it.
Heck, I even uninstalled every jwz package from my Debian systems after the xscreensaver fiasco.
It's not sayin "Do it later, I'm a lazy bum."
1. Comply with whatever they want you to do
2. Lie (say that you are going to comply later without intending to)
3. Walk away from the product (perhaps forever).
An even smarter way (in my opinion) of getting 5 star reviews is by showing the dialog only after x hours of use. Users most likely to rate badly will have the app uninstalled before the dialog shows.
I can see how you'd see this as providing a positive bias, but I see it more like getting a chance to see if you can't help the customer out before they give up on your app. It also reminds the customer that there are people on the other end - so even if the issue can't be resolved, and you still get a one-star rating, the level of vitriol seems likely to be reduced - something all too easy to forget when angry-reviewing.
Of course if they just take the feedback and dump it, that's a different story - but again, I would think anyone with that experience would still leave the negative review.
TL;DR - too many downloaders use negative reviews as a combination support request and cudgel. I think this is a reasonable defense against that.
This technique is a genuine way to encourage sharing positive experiences about the app. In the same time, it offers a chance to the app provider to improve a bad user experience.
Whether it's a dark pattern or not, I think really depends on the motives, are you genuinely trying to make the app better or are you only interested in the people's perception of it.
Here is a great article on the topic which discusses the same issue: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/06/a-better-way-to-req...
Otherwise I don't mind such dialog boxes.
Do you like our app?
<Yes, rate it> <Later>
This is what makes the IT part of my heart die a little inside even more: when even the "good folks" in this industry feel like they have to do obnoxious things just to get ahead or keep up.
Folks, this is why the bigger arguments about competition or arbitration and so on always come back to the same point ("there's no meaningful choice"): Eventually, everyone winds up doing the same thing because it's the only way to simply not lose ground to the others who are doing the obnoxious-overall-but-good-for-just-me-in-the-short-term tricks. If I uninstalled every app that demanded this...well, I'd have very few apps. And that's even worse because it's just obnoxious enough to help the individual app developer but not so obnoxious as to spur people onto meaningful action, yet the annoyance is still present...always grating on nerves...disrupting just a little bit of productivity or happiness...needlessly.
That's when you have to start thinking about regulation.
On the case of the Android store, regulation by Google. Their inaction is harming everyone.
If we ever meet, I might ask you if you want to be hit in the face now or later. I hate doing it, but it's a necessary evil.
Like many users, I as well have fallen victim for having a temporary fit of rage and leaving a 1 star review with a 1 liner of nonconstructive feedback for an otherwise useful app.
As if to say "Fine, you want it? Here's your god damn review!"
I bet they take your one star and just hide the dialog, but take people who rate it as 5 stars to the "real" app store rating page.
Does iOS let apps self rate like that? This seems inconceivable to me.
Bottom line: when an app keeps pestering you to rate it, say "Yes fine I'll rate you", they take you to the app store and there, you do nothing (or one-star them). The app should register that you rated them and stop pestering you with that dialog.
Apps on Android totally can and do do this.
It's not allowed in the Google Play TOS, and it's one of the darkest patterns there is, but it's technically possible just as it is on iOS.
edit: Some of us do not want to enable this power-draining, privacy-sucking global option just to use Tinder. An xposed framework module was created to bypass the check, but Tinder has actually begun checking for it and the app doesn't work properly if it is enabled.
Google is notorious for it, especially when they try to get you to use the YouTube app rather than the web interface.
It's not "maybe later" I want—it's "never ask me again".
The worse, if you agree, it enables the location service for everything all the time where you have the feeling it was just for the Maps app.
I just discovered that 2 days ago and I must say I was really really angry at Google for this clear dark pattern use.
Their piping of apps' access to things like location through Google Play Services to force you to give them access makes a mockery of the permissions system. I really don't like the way they've been doing things the past few years.
Edit: Gmail complains about lack of access to camera and microphone, not location services. Fixed.
When Google released the new permission system in Android, they blew their one chance to actually make permissions meaningful. The fact that "portscan my network" is one of the Other permissions is testament to how unconcerned with user security and privacy they seem to be as an organization (despite, no doubt, some individual developers who care). I'm pretty close to deciding that my next phone will be dumb and featureless.
But still, I can't see why Gmail should need access to those devices, and far less why it should harass me so aggressively about it when it works fine without them.
Just conjecture, but I feel like there was a sea-change at Google regarding attitudes towards users' privacy, about the time that adblock became widespread and competition started heating up between them and Facebook for ad revenue. They're behaving far less ethically than they did even five years ago.
I now use HERE WeGo or OsmAnd (on non-GAPPS devices, from f-droid). While the experience is not nearly as cool, I love the fact that I am not participating in uncontrolled monitoring and unexpected battery drainage.
The worst is that if you accept it once, this setting is saved and there is no obvious way in the UI to change it back (which was possible in the past I think).
To reset it, go in the Applications manager in the settings, choose Google Play Services and reset all its data.
There is no way it is a bug, someone had to think and put this deceptive behaviour as a feature (and someone had to design its deceptive UI, someone had to do unit testing for this deceptive behaviour, someone had to QA it…).
And Google is really shitty app publisher in more ways than this. Has anyone ever seen a meaningful changelog in any major app of theirs?
The tollways here are especially heinous when you don't use them often enough to justify the hassle of getting an I-Pass, since the cash toll is twice the I-Pass toll.
Even if that's not true, I may never visit the page again if my perception is that it's gearing up to annoy me.
I will often see: OK, NOT YET, DON'T SHOW AGAIN. Which I think is fine.
Remember, as an app developer, if a user denies the iOS permissions dialog in your app, you can't EVER show the dialog again -- the user has to manually leave the app and re-enable the permission in the iOS Settings.
Successive calls to the function to ask permission automatically return false for "denied" so it is in the developer's best interest to try to avoid showing the real iOS permission pop up unless the user somehow indicates that they are going to accept the permission (in this case, in the "pre permission" clone dialog).
There's even GitHub projects and CocoaPods for this:
When I used this "trick" (yes, I'm guilty), only a handful of thousands of users actually accepted the soft-prompt and then successively denied the real iOS hard prompt.
Done properly I can appreciate it, especially on Android where permissions are often nonsensically bundled together. Although I'm never sure when it's crossed the line into scam. Is the permission for getting the user's gamer id really "make phone calls"?!
Not to mention, the pre permission dialog is usually deceptively similar to the Apple one.
(And to be clear, I've never built one of these extra permission prompts, so I'm saying this purely from the perspective of a user.)
However, it doesn't seem like you are interested in furthering this discussion. Would you have rather I not posted at all?
There are many YC companies listed on this Dark Patterns site, and their founders definitely frequent this form. So far everyone else has been completely mum.
Given that you are on YC's community web site, may I suggest using some tact?
App developer insisted upon a review, so they got one.
If you're at a company that does scheduled releases (e.g. once every three weeks), you'll need to continually ask people to review the app to keep that rating high.
Otherwise you only get ratings from new users and users that are discontent with the particular version. It's rare that people who have already rated the app 5-stars will continually go out of their way to rate the app 5-stars again without prompting.
It had a [don't ask me again] checkbox that when set greyed out the option to disagree.
My only nitpick: the author wants the industry to agree on a "code of ethics."
Unfortunately, such exhortations strike me as naive. They are unlikely to work, because the truly bad actors will continue to use dark patterns regardless, putting pressure on all other actors to follow suit. The key challenge is not in getting the good actors to do the right thing, but in preventing the bad actors from doing the wrong thing.
Meanwhile, even sophisticated consumers like HN members pay a cognitive or financial cost to deal with dark patterns every day, which are prevalent throughout the web. Everyone I know is sick and tired of this crap.
The only viable solution I can think of is regulation in the form of a consumer-protection agency, working with the industry, that can fine bad actors up the wazoo.
Does anyone here have a better suggestion?
The question again is, how to make those big players do something that will lose them money.
Potential scenario: someone makes a browser plugin that blocks dark patterns as if they were ads, so companies who use them don't see any traction with them.
Or 50 years out when everyone is computer literate, users are aware of dark patterns and punish companies who use them by not buying their products.
Its a stretch, but hey..
(I'm iab ad ops certified)
Kill Analytics looks more offensive. It actively sends garbage data to the analytics platform, thus destroying its value proposition to the site operator and discouraging its continued use.
Besides, do you really want a bureaucrat telling you how to design your web site, with penalties enforceable by law?
"Bureaucrats" already tell you how to design your website. There is already laws against some forms of deceitful advertising, unfair trade practices, and information sharing and the like. For example, let's say I was working to design an airline ticket booking site...
>For both domestic and international markets, carriers must provide disclosure of the full price to be paid, including government taxes/fees as well as carrier surcharges, in their advertising, on their websites and on the passenger’s e-ticket confirmation. In addition, carriers must disclose all fees for optional services through a prominent link on their homepage, and must include information on e-ticket confirmations about the free baggage allowance and applicable fees for the first and second checked bag and carry-on.
How about those hotel "resort fees?" Currently they FTC says they are OK as long as they are disclosed before booking. So a hotel can advertise $20/night but when you go to book say "lol btw there's also a $30 resort fee." This of course makes comparison shopping impossible and exists for no other reason to deceive you. Rumor has it the FTC is going to backtrack on the policy and disallow separate resort fees.
You want more of that?
I think EU politicians know what cookies are and how they are used. You can see that in the list of cookies exempt from consent:
• session IDs
• authentication cookies
• user-centric security cookies
• session-limited multimedia player cookies
• social network cookies (for logged in members of the social network)
If they push the envelope too hard, you report, they follow up and can potentially pull the cert. Maybe have browser integration too. (But good luck disambiguating between this and SSL certs for the average person...)
If I'm a developer (say, a junior engineer with my first real entry-level software engineering job out of college), my direct manager (who generally supervises and stringently handholds) basically tells me exactly which features need to be implemented (and often, even how).
I don't have much of a say in which patterns (dark or light) get implemented, and I probably won't have the gull to "stand up" and "rock the boat" as a 22 year old fresh out of school.
It's even worse if I'm married with kids... How do I explain to my wife and children why I lost my job for refusing to implement the product guys' ill-conceived version of "Roach Motel" in the frontend?
This is why I sympathize with the VW lowly engineer "fall guy" whose head met the chopping block for the entire pervasive executive diesel cheat scandal.
I think this would be much harder to pass, and would be more akin to financial advisers being required to be fiduciaries, but hey, that is now required in the US. What is required for that to happen is mainline support though. But that will be difficult to get. I think this is, like the privacy stuff, is a little too abstract for the average person.
Currently, if you want to use LinkedIn you have to either use their website. Sometimes there are 3rd party options that consume the API but in the current model of the web, as soon as one of those 3rd parties is seen as problematic then API access is typically revoked or restricted to give power back to the company.
In the public data model the data and API are publicly exposed and cannot be arbitrarily restricted. In the LinkedIn case this would allow a 3rd party to build a new UX on top of the LinkedIn database that excludes the copious dark patterns. Under this model, companies who abuse their users risk getting displaced by an alternate application backed by the same data that favors the user.
- Disclaimer: I work pretty much exclusively developing software in the Ethereum ecosystem which is one such blockchain based platform.
They don't have any incentive and I suspect they will hold onto that data until it's "pried from their cold dead hands".
I think that companies like LinkedIn and other massive data silos are going to atrophy and die as users migrate to new platforms that treat them better and give them more control over their data and experience. I'd like to point out that while there is little incentive for current companies to adopt this architecture, it doesn't mean that new companies won't be successful implementing their business under this architecture. Admittedly, almost all of this is utterly unproven given the newness of blockchain based application platforms.
One way to look at this is that the current model of internet companies is highly anti-competitive. The data they "own" is really the data of all of their users who can freely give it to any other source they choose. The fact that they have control over the database is what gives them the competitive advantage. These new application platforms which have open public databases can change the game such that the previous closed-data model can no longer compete.
What do you view is the meaningful reason for users to switch to these other platforms with some kind of better underlying data model? In addition, what's the meaningful reason for a company to adopt such a better underlying data model instead of keeping a data silo and just making better features on top of such a silo?
I completely agree that people don't currently care about their data in the sense that people are complacent about their privacy and aren't likely to change very much in that regard.
I think people care about UX but to what level?? Might be minimal.
There are a few compelling reasons why I think these new open platforms are likely to succeed and I'll try to capture them succinctly.
1. Data Economy: People choose options that save them money or make them more money. While people don't care about owning their own data, they will care about a new platform that lets them earn money for passive things like keeping their smart phone location services turned on, or allowing access to their browsing habits.
2. Account Portability: Currently if you transition from selling on Ebay to Amazon, or from driving for Uber to Lyft you have to start back over from zero. If you own your data then you just bring it with you over to the new platform and all of your reputation and whatnot can come with you.
3. Network Effect: These types of open platforms are capable of robust cross-platform integration. Right now we see the power of this in things like the suite of products that Google provides. We can have these types deep inter-connectivity without needing the applications to be from the same source.
I also want to acknowledge that this isn't going to be a smooth ride and there are big challenges to overcome, but the potential exists and it won't happen if we don't try.
> what's the meaningful reason for a company to adopt such a better underlying data model instead of keeping a data silo and just making better features on top of such a silo?
I believe that the article linked below titled "The Golden Age of Open Protocols" is the most compelling argument I've seen.
A code of ethics would be 100x more effective than this, and still be ineffective.
First up is microphone, and you click allow. Second is camera, and you click allow. Third is contacts, and you click—wait a minute, why do you need this? Disallow.
Don't know what they would do if they got my contacts (hopefully not spam them like LinkedIn), and don't intend to find out.
I'd say Skype is a way to communicate with people, not a way to contact people. And for me, it's a method of last resort for people I can't call/text/Facetime/Hangout. I understand some people might say yes, but it's still somewhat deceptive to put this in the same category as "enable mic" and "enable camera", which Skype cannot operate without.
To me this would be akin to facebook automatically adding the local chinese restaurant as my friend simply because I had their number saved in my phone.
You want permission to access my entire contacts/social network? No thanks.
Too bad dozens of your contacts did not care about it and they have your data anyway.
(of course, that's not true here and you don't have to sign in)
I'm thinking of Dropbox, which does this when you try to access a link that someone shared with you by email https://a3nm.net/share/2016-12-07_548165.png
This is a dark pattern because it's trying to make me believe that I should create an account when obviously I just want to get the file that my friend sent me. The link to download the file directly is at the bottom of the message.
Also tried a different browser with a clean slate, no issues.
Maybe the link was edited?
A company that tries to be clear on everything is Google, but I still find they morph so rapidly that their documentation is often 2 or 3 generations behind.
And the linked article to it: https://medium.com/@danrschlosser/linkedin-dark-patterns-3ae...
Do you love our app?
Dark patterns don't represent anything truly sinister, and in most cases they are perfectly legal. They are just bad UX because they're dishonest about their intent.
A sneaky one I saw recently is something like:
[ ] Subscribe to newsletter about our services by unchecking this box.
(It doesn't matter whether the box is initially checked or not, the user will be tricked into the desired behavior.)
I don't remember the exact phrasing, and it was much more shrewd than my own, but it relied on a boolean flipping of the value of the checkbox towards the end of the field label. Any user seeding the start of the sentence will leave it in its current state.
A few years ago RyanAir's website was much worse. It's actually usable now!
I was somehow able to buy a freaking bag with my ticket. I'm surprised they didn't somehow trick me to buy their lottery too. And I'm tech savvy...
Well, in a semi-ideal world, there would be a comprehensive "hall of shame" database containing the information about the tricks, problems, dark patterns, etc. for all websites. Then, some helper apps or browser extensions could warn us about these issues while a regular user is browsing.
One of the problems with this idea is that it gives a huge authority to the owner of that database and there would be lots of questions about its neutrality.
Google Photos is a big culprit unfortunately with their photo backup. They keep pinging a notification to get me to remove local versions that are backed up in the cloud. I don't want to do that. The only way to remove the notification seems to be disabling all app notifications.
Worse, when you go into settings, they have a variety of settings that all take you into a deeper level of settings when you click them.
Except "Free up device storage."
Clicking that does not take you to a deeper level as expected (despite looking like a nav tree item), but instead actually does the one thing I didn't want to do, with no confirmation dialogue.
Is any automated system more important than your focus?
What I have is, disallow or delete the app or "service" as soon as I receive a "notification" from it, only my wife and family is allowed to light up the led on my phone.
Ever received a spam email, hunted for the unsubscribe link, and found it in light grey, against a white background? Imagine how much worse that is for someone with low vision. Ditto for pop-up ads with a tiny grey X in the corner.
Many of the dark patterns described in the video rely on hiding/obfuscating opt-outs and these have an even bigger impact on people with visual/processing disabilities.
I'm really getting tired of turning down Amazon Prime on Amazon. I use Amazon less because of this. There are about three extra pages of Amazon Prime ads to click through for every purchase.
I didn't see it in the agreement (actually went back and looked for something that would cover ads), and it's not clear what limits, if any, they think there are. That is, could they just decide to show as many ads as Hulu and say "yeah, we said you could have access to this catalog. we didn't say it would be ad-free".
I was on vacation recently and the room had DirecTV. I tried searching for a program and all the search results were for channels not subscribed. Several of the channels in the guide list were presented as if subscribed, but then when a show would start, would prompt to charge $6 to continue watching and the show would stop after a few minutes. Finally, I found a channel that was subscribed and not PPV, and when an ad came on 30 seconds later, I tried to turn off the DirecTV box.
Here's the DirecTV dark pattern: there was a "Please Wait..." message on the screen while the ad played instead of just turning off the output! How can anybody actually be making money from TV ads when they are so obnoxious?
I'm pretty sick of corporations double-dipping in every industry. Video services charge you for watching, and then sell you to advertisers. Supermarkets charge you for products, and then sell you to manufacturers. ISPs charge you for bandwidth, and then try force video services to pay as well. Where's the exit to this hall of mirrors?
They do have a few programs on there that are not eligible, but then they say up front "due to streaming rights, we have to show you ads, but it's just one before and one after".
That, at least is better than the ad-laden Hulu before they offered that option, where any prolonged bout of streaming would show you the same ad over and over and over.
Despite being a good site, it has been last updated in 2013: http://darkpatterns.org/whats-new/
I sent them 2 dark patterns in the past which they didn't put; in an email I received long time after inquiring about it one of the developers said they're under the pump and will get to it sometime. And they don't.
Good luck figuring that out though, since the what's new page hasn't been working in pretty much forever and the only way to see if something has been changed is to check each category individually.
And yeah, it doesn't update much. I remember sending in my own examples before, and those never got added either. Kind of wish there was a site about this with a more regular update schedule or something.
I may stay away from LA Fitness just because of this article.
In a way I kind of like that model - just not on an airplane.
I watched a bunch of folks sign up on the flight and it made me feel really badly; the same way that check-cashing places scam their, mostly not-affulent, customers. These folks are even more vulnerable to these kinds of dark-patterns.
I suspect this works better on people who sign up and then never show up for four months.
I will never fly spirit again, though. They just straight up cancelled a flight of mine an hour and a half before the flight for literally no reason, I got no notification via email/text or phone until I went to the airport to check my baggage (another thing I hate doing, but I was traveling for a pool tournament and you can't carry pool cues on a plane...). I had to book a last minute flight with another airline and my total airfare ended up being almost double what I paid for spirit.
The prices were just crazy too. They depend on people overlooking fees and getting screwed over to make them profitable. I got away with paying nothing over what I was quoted on the website. I will still never fly them again.
I dispute this. I work with someone who is a marketing person and very much drawn to dark pattern rubbish. Most recent incident is a good example - a sales promotion where something is added to the cart if the customer buys a certain product. I pointed out that this was a 'dark pattern' and made sure my boss knew that such an idea is illegal in the E.U.
For me the illegality is not something that scares me, I doubt I will go to jail for writing the code, however, using a 'dark pattern' is a problem for me.
I like to think that I am a customer focused person, my marketing clown certainly is not. In fact he cares not one iota about any of the customers, his world view is selfish.
So, I point out the illegal aspect, next thing is that he wants the items given away. I don't see how that makes our products look good and I have no idea how to make money out of making a product and then shipping it to them for free. So again I am not sold on the priority of the project.
Returning to the 'selfish' aspect, my marketing clown does not code or appreciate the effort involved in making the auto-add work. I can do the code for that and think I could get the MVP of it done in a day, with some testing after that. Then there is the thinking through of the unintended consequences - I imagine that we would get plenty of customer service emails if there was a problem with the offer. The UX is also not thought out. I am sure that I could spend all day getting the message to the customer sorted on the website and emails, but if I didn't do that then the whole thing would certainly be 'dark pattern'.
There is nothing clever about my selfish marketing clown and his naive ways. However, he gets a performance bonus based on 'customer acquisition' metrics that the rest of us don't get. He has an interest to not care about anything other than his Google Analytics nonsense, customers, rest of the team, the company making money matters not.
Although anecdotal, this is how 'dark patterns' happen - marketing clowns, their selfish ways, their inability to understand the problem space (because they don't do code or customers) and workplace bullying make these things persist.
So it is a case of these people not knowing what they are doing, far from knowing the customer psychology and deliberately deceiving them, there is just no thought beyond doing some silly marketing campaign for the month end results.
What is also wrong with dark pattern is that the customers have to be churned - they will not be coming back after the customer service disaster that goes with the sale.
I don't care about quarterly results, I care about building a business that does not need marketing beyond word of mouth and white-hat SEO. So, in ten years time, customers will return for customer service provided to them, not to facilitate whatever silly offer is needed for my marketing clown's month end. I want customers to want to come back for a great product and great service, this is not compatible with 'dark patterns'.
We often give intellect where there is none. Notably in TV dramas where the 'killer' is supposed to be clever, in reality most people that commit crime really are not thinking at all, they have not thought it all through. 'Dark patterns' is a bit like that.
They're refined by evolution-- ones that make money get kept, ones that don't get removed. That is about as much genius as is really needed.
Better, in fact-- if no one really knows whats going on then no one can have any pangs of ethics, no one can turn whistleblower after getting fired, etc.
* Do I check the item if I want to unsubscribe from it?
* Or do I uncheck the items I don't wish to receive?
50-50 chance -- which I'm sure they love. Clicking "Update" gives no feedback either, just reloads the page.
I know it sounds silly, but this is how a lot of decisions are agreed upon by many large organizations, and help encourage involvement and following the rules. See W3, ICANN, ESRB, IETF, etc.
The "BUXE", or Board for User eXperience Ethics (just my name idea) could be founded by a group of consenting UX designers, companies, and organizations. Together they would vote on and establish UX design principles that would be up for review every year or so.
The BUXE will accept fees for reviewing a website's adherence to their ethics and would give ratings to them based on how well they follow the guidelines. The resulting site can then publish their BUXE rating on their site.
Individual developers could be given honor status if they are particularly vocal or involved in ensuring the development of ethical UX that could be accolades for them to brag about (something important to developers). It's a good resume booster, anyway.
Plenty of other ideas.