Don’t Fool Your Members With “Dark Patterns”
Avoid the click-bait behavior online marketers adore
Of all the emails I get, the ones that are my biggest pet peeve are the fake replies.
Generally, the email subject line includes a “Re:” in front of it, and the message is designed so part of text is in blockquote, making it seem like a legitimate message I forgot to respond to. But if I do a search I realize the sender has never emailed me before about this topic—or at all. It’s a trick, with the goal of getting my attention.
This is a mild variant of a “dark pattern,” a user interface tactic intended to trick you into doing something. These design quirks are everywhere online these days and take numerous forms. Here are a few examples, in order of “darkness”:
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