Saturday, July 01, 2017

Dark Marketing

Harry Brignull: Dark Patterns

Marcus will forever remember the day when his quiet as a lamb, patient as an angel wife Agata suddenly turned into a foul-mouthed monster shouting obscene and very much not her usual lady like words directed at the computer screen. This was the day when, once making a purchase on Amazon she, unintentionally, signed up for Amazon Prime membership.

This was just before moving to the UK, and yes, we will want the Amazon Prime membership then only because it does not work in Switzerland.

But NOT today and NOT when the only intention was only to buy a power plug converter.

Nobody likes to be manipulated.

The next 20 minutes was spent on finding a correct link and cancelling the Prime membership (and yes, we re-signed up for it a week later).

Today I clicked on somebody's invitation to connect on LinkedIn. Suddenly my list of contacts popped up and upon a supposed  innocent suggestion from LinkedIn, that I should connect with All Those People on LinkedIn! I never gave LinkedIn an access to my contacts and since I skipped the window, I can't get back to it. It happened to be some kind of one off.

This is when I found out that there is a name for what those companies are doing.

Dark Patterns

Beware, because you can lose your privacy or you can lose your personal data and certainly your money falling a victim of those 'reputable' companies immoral marketing techniques.

Learn more at

Here is an introduction from their website:

When you use the web, you don’t read every word on every page - you skim read and make assumptions. If a company wants to trick you into doing something, they can take advantage of this by making a page look like it is saying one thing when it is in fact saying another."

Sounds like a pretty simple thing to prevent from happening, but every now and then we all seem to 'accidentally' sign up for a newsletter we didn't need...

Anti-kudos for the dark marketing web designers.

From Marcus and Agata we leave you with the hall of shame