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"Normally when you think of "bad design", you think of laziness or mistakes. These are known as design anti-patterns. Dark Patterns are different – they are not mistakes, they are carefully crafted with a solid understanding of human psychology, and they do not have the user’s interests in mind."




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Hi Tom,

Thank you for starting this discussion, interesting topic to say the least! While reading Influence by Robert Cialdini  I think that there is a thin line between using persuasion methods for good or for bad. Scarcity and Social Proof are excellent examples how people can be influenced to take action they would otherwise never take.. 

Heck I use it myself when selling my iPhone 4s online - adding a line that states "Don't miss an opportunity like this, an iPhone that looks as good as this one doesn't last that long!" does wonders..

But on the examples from the Slideshare - that is conning -  adding unwanted items to someones cart is indeed a nasty thing. Imagine that happening when you are at BestBuy or Walmart :D 

I recently experienced this myself when I was shopping at They added an insurance and another product to my cart and no obvious way to remove it. Turned out that there was a 'remove item' link, but they didn't make the link stand out with an underline. I did notice, but my dad would have purchased it and then had to go through the trouble of returning and getting a refund.

I think in the end this behavior will cost you clients (and their trust) and will hurt your business, where you want to build a long term relationship with clients and use persuasion to get them to trust you and your product.  



I glad you liked the article - I agree once my trust has been betrayed, it will be doubly difficult to get it back.

Thanks for the link - I'll check it out.

Best regards,


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