Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Jul 2016 17:52 UTC
Internet & Networking

Ars Technica talks about dark patterns:

Everyone has been there. So in 2010, London-based UX designer Harry Brignull decided he'd document it. Brignull’s website, darkpatterns.org, offers plenty of examples of deliberately confusing or deceptive user interfaces. These dark patterns trick unsuspecting users into a gamut of actions: setting up recurring payments, purchasing items surreptitiously added to a shopping cart, or spamming all contacts through prechecked forms on Facebook games.

I can't recall ever falling for a dark pattern, but I see these things everywhere - a sure sign that whatever company, website, or whatever, you're dealing with is not worthy of your time.

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Real Player
by WorknMan on Thu 28th Jul 2016 18:28 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I remember on an old version of Real Player, they had a series of list check boxes as options during the install. There was a few that were hidden below a scroll bar, that of course were the only ones on by default. And I sat thinking to myself, 'how does the bloke who coded this manage to sleep at night?'

Anyway, on a semi-related note, has there been a term made up to describe when an app or website keeps nagging you for something they desperately want, and you've already told them no several dozen times? For example, I don't care how much Facebook begs and pleads for my mobile number... I'm NEVER giving it to them. I really don't give a damn if my account gets hacked or not, as I only use it to chat with close friends privately.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Real Player
by darknexus on Thu 28th Jul 2016 18:41 UTC in reply to "Real Player"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

God, that's painful. Now I remember why I did my best to forget that RealPlayer ever existed.
The nag behavior I hate most is when apps beg and beg and beg you to rate them. I think, from now on, I'm going to give them a 1 no matter if the app is any good or not. You wanted a rating? You got one. Feel better now?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Real Player
by WorknMan on Thu 28th Jul 2016 22:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Real Player"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The nag behavior I hate most is when apps beg and beg and beg you to rate them. I think, from now on, I'm going to give them a 1 no matter if the app is any good or not.


LOL, already ahead of you on that one. I'm about to start doing the same thing for 3rd party sellers on Amazon who email and beg for reviews, as pretty much all of them are doing that now.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Real Player
by bassbeast on Sat 30th Jul 2016 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Real Player"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Really? Maybe its just me but I really don't mind those as a lot of them will send you free stuff in return for reviewing it.

I had free ink for a good 6 months because third parties would send me ink that was compatible with my printer so I would write up a review stating it was indeed compatible, and the wife being a diabetic got all kinds of things like sugar substitutes to try in her recipes in return for writing reviews.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Real Player
by Alfman on Thu 28th Jul 2016 18:56 UTC in reply to "Real Player"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

Anyway, on a semi-related note, has there been a term made up to describe when an app or website keeps nagging you for something they desperately want, and you've already told them no several dozen times?



Google's location service on android is another example. They've omitted any way to say no permanently and prompt over and over again every time I turn on the GPS. It's very annoying.

Reply Score: 3

Nice Article
by darknexus on Thu 28th Jul 2016 18:39 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I didn't even know there was a name for this kind of crap behavior. My new factoid of the day. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nice Article
by Megol on Sat 30th Jul 2016 08:08 UTC in reply to "Nice Article"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

Of course there are names for this shit, my favorite is things I won't use.

Dark patters? It doesn't describe anything. WORST NAME EVER!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Nice Article
by BlueofRainbow on Sat 30th Jul 2016 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice Article"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

Actually, the name makes senses for one familiar with user interface design.

A good web design is one that is consistent throughout the entire site and follows a pattern so that the user can focus on what he/she needs.

A dark pattern is a purposely confusing design to manipulate the user toward a behavior beneficial only to the entity owning the site and ultimately for monetary gains. Defining privacy settings with default option of "allowing disclosure" falls under this category.

Reply Score: 2

What is the solution?
by Alfman on Thu 28th Jul 2016 19:00 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

What do you do when these things become standard practice? Like banks selling customer information to marketing affiliates. Most people would say no if they knew about it but banks will opt you in by default. I don't know if this fits under "dark patterns" but it definitely fits under "confusopoly".

It we ignore it, then the companies resorting to shady practices will be rewarded and those who respect our privacy & choices will be competitively disadvantaged. How should society fix this? I think things should be opt-in rather than opt-out. Do we need to pass laws making opt-in a requirement?

Reply Score: 2

RE: What is the solution?
by darknexus on Thu 28th Jul 2016 19:36 UTC in reply to "What is the solution?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Do we need to pass laws making opt-in a requirement?

Wouldn't do any good. The lawyers would write the laws with a built-in opt-out. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What is the solution?
by Alfman on Thu 28th Jul 2016 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE: What is the solution?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

darknexus,

Wouldn't do any good. The lawyers would write the laws with a built-in opt-out.


Yeah, politicians talk the big talk and speak against corporate abuse during campaigns, but when it comes time to actually do something they just side with the money.

Reply Score: 4

RE: What is the solution?
by BlueofRainbow on Sat 30th Jul 2016 12:29 UTC in reply to "What is the solution?"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

A well written law may work and offer a basis for a class action suit.

In Canada, we have had an anti-spamming law for a couple of years. Essentially, the entity must explicitly ask the user to receive emails and notifications. Without a response, the default is "NO".

My experience is that this has worked well with Canadian based entities, not so well with global entities.

With respect to on-line privacy, could a law requiring explicit agreement by the user for disclosure of information achieve the same? Note, this law would have to make it mandatory to have privacy clauses separate from the general terms and conditions one must accept to use a product (especially software).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What is the solution?
by Alfman on Sun 31st Jul 2016 13:40 UTC in reply to "RE: What is the solution?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BlueofRainbow,

In Canada, we have had an anti-spamming law for a couple of years. Essentially, the entity must explicitly ask the user to receive emails and notifications. Without a response, the default is "NO".

My experience is that this has worked well with Canadian based entities, not so well with global entities.

With respect to on-line privacy, could a law requiring explicit agreement by the user for disclosure of information achieve the same? Note, this law would have to make it mandatory to have privacy clauses separate from the general terms and conditions one must accept to use a product (especially software).


I like all your suggestions.

In the US instead we got "CAN SPAM ACT". It's supposed to be a play on "garbage can", but the alternate meaning that mass senders are expressly allowed to spam is accurate. There's no prohibition on mass unsolicited email as long as you respect opt-out.


Unsolicited calls are equally bad here in the US because of terrible enforcement of the laws. They only prosecute the worst of the worst at the tip of the iceberg.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What is the solution?
by ssokolow on Sun 31st Jul 2016 23:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What is the solution?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

From what I've read, the Canadian one has even better provisions which have yet to come into force:

Not only must mailings not inherently necessary for the operation of the service (eg. password resets) be clearly marked and opt-in, they're also required to be separate. (ie. It's illegal to hang your newsletter or deals mailings off the same checkbox as "I agree to the terms of use for this service".)

...and, yes, businesses up and down the country were whining and complaining as loudly as they could when this bill was proposed.

Edited 2016-07-31 23:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What is the solution?
by darknexus on Mon 1st Aug 2016 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE: What is the solution?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

With respect to on-line privacy, could a law requiring explicit agreement by the user for disclosure of information achieve the same? Note, this law would have to make it mandatory to have privacy clauses separate from the general terms and conditions one must accept to use a product (especially software).

Except... how the heck do you make the customers read it, especially if the companies can get away with legalese?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What is the solution?
by Alfman on Tue 2nd Aug 2016 04:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What is the solution?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

darknexus,

Except... how the heck do you make the customers read it, especially if the companies can get away with legalese?



Actually the brilliance of explicit opt-in is that it's in a companies best interest to make opt-in easy!

In theory both opt-in and opt-out give consumers equal rights, but in practice companies often hide the facts inside of tons of legalize, which is a big problem with opt-out since few users realize it's an option. However if companies tried to hide the place where users can opt in, then they would only be hurting themselves.

Companies found employing deceptive tactics should be punished with legal fees until they cease.

Reply Score: 2

No Easyjet?
by kurkosdr on Thu 28th Jul 2016 22:47 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Easyjet is one of the worst. When you try to buy a ticket, they try to force-feed travel insurance down your throat (ok, nothing special here), and if you want to opt-out you have to lie and click "I already have travel insurance". The option "I don't want stupid travel insurance, which by the way has a clause that nullifies it if I consume alcohol, because I have the EHID card and I travel within the EU" is nowhere to be found.

It's basically designed to trick some grandma or grandpa into thinking travel insurance is some kind of legal mandate and you either have to already have one or purchase theirs.

PS: You know something is a scam when a salesman tries to make it look mandatory when it isn't. How many people who buy travel insurance even look at the terms and clauses? If they did, they would know how little chance they have at being covered if something does happen (which it most probably won't happen, the whole "travel insurance" scam was based around the idea of insuring you only for a couple of days or even hours instead of months, so nothing happens to you during that little time duration, and if it does, they have a million terms and clauses to not pay you).

Edited 2016-07-28 22:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: No Easyjet?
by lucas_maximus on Fri 29th Jul 2016 21:42 UTC in reply to "No Easyjet?"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I do have a EHIC and I live in Europe. I pay for independent travel insurance because I move outside of the EU quiet often (spent the last 6 weeks in Israel).

It isn't accurate what was asked.

Edited 2016-07-29 21:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Facebook app
by Carewolf on Fri 29th Jul 2016 17:03 UTC
Carewolf
Member since:
2005-09-08

Whenever I open it, it asks to steal my all contacts. I once accidently clicked okay. Damn thing should be illegal. No means no

Reply Score: 2

Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Fri 29th Jul 2016 21:40 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

Some of these are suspect since I use British Airways Quite often.

Reply Score: 2