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Darker patterns - Jessica Cameron


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We check our mobiles 85 times a day, habitually and without conscious planning. We respond to Facebook likes as rats do to sugar solution. We let YouTube’s algorithms determine what our kids watch. We choose potential life partners by swiping right. We like it when websites tell us what to buy, we converse using pictures of small yellow faces, and we have conversations with our appliances.

Sure, all of these things are easy to do. But at what point does engaging with technology become too easy? Should we create user experiences that maintain a bit of friction, to remind us that we still have the capacity for complex social interactions and effortful decision making?

This session won’t give you all of the answers, but it will raise some interesting questions.

Published in: Design
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Darker patterns - Jessica Cameron

  1. 1. Darker Patterns: The problems with seemingly seamless user experiences Jessica Cameron UX Scotland Friday, 15 June 2017 1
  2. 2. 2 @jessscameron #darkerpatterns
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  13. 13. 13 There is a gap between how we want to spend our time online and how we really spend our time
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  15. 15. 15 How often do we check our phones? Once every 12 minutes How much do we touch our phones? 2,617 times per day (taps and swipes)
  16. 16. 16 Even the language we use sounds sinister
  17. 17. Presentation title / Footer text 17Photo by Steve Parfitt on Unsplash CLICK BAIT
  18. 18. Presentation title / Footer text 18Photo by Hoshino Ai on Unsplash GOING VIRAL
  19. 19. Presentation title / Footer text 19Photo by Hoshino Ai on Unsplash TROLLSTROLLS
  20. 20. 20 Why are we so susceptible to these influences? Let’s talk about how we make decisions…
  21. 21. Photo by Mick Tinbergen on Unsplash
  22. 22. Presentation title / Footer text 22Photo by Koen van Ginkel on Unsplash
  23. 23. 23 This slide does not comply with the UX Scotland code of conduct
  24. 24. 24 The catch is, we NEED shortcuts and heuristics
  25. 25. 25Photo by Eugenio Mazzone on Unsplash
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  28. 28. 28 Mere exposure effect Illusory truth effect
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  31. 31. 31 System 1 thinking “System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control”
  32. 32. 32 System 2 thinking “System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations”
  33. 33. 33 What does all of this mean? We are easily swayed by things that are easy Especially when we are distracted Or don’t really care about what we are doing
  34. 34. 35 Because our mental shortcuts are predictable… We can be easily led into making certain choices
  35. 35. 36Photo by Nicolas LB on Unsplash
  36. 36. 37Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash
  37. 37. 38Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash
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  41. 41. 42 Let’s talk about ethics
  42. 42. 43 Two types of ethics Deontological: rule-based, focuses on actions and intentions Consequentialist: harm- or happiness- based, focuses on outcomes
  43. 43. 44 In reality, we are easily swayed We give ourselves credit for past actions We don’t know what the overall impact of our actions might be We know we are not being watched (and intentions)
  44. 44. 45Photo by Alina Miroshnichenko on Unsplash
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  46. 46. 47Photo by Nanci Makroulakis for the New York Times
  47. 47. 48 Review 1. When we are online, we are often alone 2. So we don’t think about the social impact of our actions 3. Especially when we act without really thinking about it at all 4. And let’s face it, we are ethically flexible under the best of circumstances 5. What are the implications of this? 6. And what kind of world do we want to live in?
  48. 48. 49Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash
  49. 49. 50Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
  50. 50. Photo by Josh Riemer on Unsplash
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  52. 52. 53Photo by Lachlan Donald on Unsplash
  53. 53. 54 “The easier it is to use Amazon, the more powerful Amazon becomes — and thus the easier it becomes to use Amazon. Convenience and monopoly seem to be natural bedfellows.” “It is about minimizing the mental resources, the mental exertion, required to choose among the options that express ourselves.”
  54. 54. 55 “But being a person is only partly about having and exercising choices. It is also about how we face up to situations that are thrust upon us, about overcoming worthy challenges and finishing difficult tasks — the struggles that help make us who we are. What happens to human experience when so many obstacles and impediments and requirements and preparations have been removed?”
  55. 55. Presentation title / Footer text 56Photo by Morvanic Lee on Unsplash Jessica Cameron @jessscameron #darkerpatterns User Vision @UserVision