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Dark patterns


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User Interfaces that trick the user...walk through of sample patterns, and ways to see them and what to do with them.

Published in: Internet
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Dark patterns

  1. 1. Dark Patterns A Tester’s Quandary
  2. 2. Dark Patterns A Tester’s Quandary
  3. 3. Emma Keaveny @EmJayKay80 BrighTest Actually 1. Almost 2 years testing under my belt! 2. Work for Interica – Archive & Retrieval Software 3. Functional – Manual Tester 4. Co-Organiser of #TestActually
  4. 4. Potential use of swearing…I blame being Irish!
  5. 5. Explore Dark Patterns With the aid of examples and tester’s thoughts to discover the best possible way to handle these patterns.
  6. 6. Dark Patterns are User Interfaces that are designed to trick people. What are Dark Patterns?
  7. 7. How did I get here? • WTEU-57 Testing LinkedIn Mobile App • Feature to test: Add Connection • Selected ‘Invite All’ on my phone contacts
  8. 8. The F******g Invite all button!! The number of contacts not YET on LinkedIn!
  9. 9. The F******g text message!
  10. 10. Various Types of Dark Patterns and Examples Thanks to
  11. 11. • Just In Case – Just In Case you might want to have Windows 10
  12. 12. • Bait & Switch – User sets out to do one thing but a different undesirable thing happens instead.
  13. 13. • Misdirection – The attention of the user is focused on one thing in order to distract their attention from another.
  14. 14. A quick Ryanair update..
  15. 15. • Hidden Costs – Unexpected charges at the last step of the checkout.
  16. 16. • Roach Motel – Makes it easy for a user to get into a situation but harder to get out.
  17. 17. There are also Anti-Patterns not quite as bad as a Dark Pattern but still a nuisance!
  18. 18. Anti patterns are generally mistakes. They are good ideas in theory but in practice they are not.
  19. 19. • Door Slam – Follow a link and get blocked by an app download banner.
  20. 20. So… What would YOU do if you came across these?
  21. 21. At a Weekend Testing Session (WTEU-58) I asked this very question, here are some of the responses…
  22. 22. “I suppose the obvious first step is to talk to someone about it.” “it boils down to ethics” “are there are a set of ethics we follow? “
  23. 23. “To me a dark pattern is just aggressive advertising. The well armed consumer should be aware of them in his own nature. “ “compliances are a useful heuristic for testers“
  24. 24. “If a company decides to use a dark pattern can a tester tell them not to?”
  25. 25. So… What can WE do if we come across these?
  26. 26. How would you deal with a Dark Pattern? 1. Check the Requirements 2. Talk to someone, i.e. the Product Owner, the team 3. Clarify that it’s a dark pattern by using various heuristics: • Jakob Nielson - Usability Heuristics for UI Design • Michael Bolton’s et. al – A FEW HICCUPPS
  27. 27. How would you deal with a Dark Pattern?
  28. 28. How would you deal with a Dark Pattern?..cont 4. Code of Ethics to guide you: • 7.8 IEEE Code of Ethics • ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct • Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice 5. Your Emotions 6. Last but sure as hell not least – Personal Integrity
  29. 29. Are there pros to Dark Patterns?
  30. 30. Pros V Cons of Dark Patterns
  31. 31. Explore Dark Patterns With the aid of examples and tester’s thoughts to discover the best possible way to handle these patterns.
  32. 32. Takeaways • Communication – Talk – Raise Questions • Heuristics – These will help you figure out if it is a dark pattern • A FEW HICCUPS • Usability Heuristics for UI Design • Code of Ethics – Is it going to trick the user in some ways – Is it ethical? • Emotions – How does it make you feel? • Personal Integrity – Honesty, Values, believing what is right
  33. 33. Acknowledgments & Thank You’s Maaret Pyhäjärvi & the European Testing Gang – Inviting me to Speak Neil Studd & Amy Phillips– WTEU Session 57 Harry Brignull – Dark Patterns Guru (
  34. 34. Some Food for Thought…VW’s Defeat Device
  35. 35. ANY QUESTIONS??
  36. 36. Added Material / Ideas • Evil by Design – Chris Nodder • • interfaces-designed-to-trick-you • Addition to dark patterns, Addiction..Candy Crush…hooked need to get to the next level, only way is to pay, and so the user does. • Automated checks for dark patterns?