The latest Windows 10 upgrade dialogue contains a huge bait and switch. When a user clicks the red “x” button in the top right — expecting to dismiss the upgrade — the upgrade actually initialises. The reaction to this bait and switch has led to considerable media coverage (including the BBC and The Independent). … Read more »
Bait and Switch
The user sets out to do one thing, but a different, undesirable thing happens instead. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it is very broad in nature – many dark patterns involve some kind of bait & switch.
On day 7 of your 14 day trial, Socedo displays a persistent modal popup, which cannot be dismissed until you enter your credit card information. This essentially locks your account. This is deceptive because the user enters the 14 day free trial expecting to get the full period with no credit card needed. In actual… Read more »
The twitch.tv chat allows you to pick a nickname color, but clicking “more colors” navigates you away from the current page to a payment page for the premium service.
The user is submitting a comment and the checkbox to join their newletter is pre-checked and below the submit button, which logically is a decision you would make before you reached it. Thanks to Stacey Lane for submitting.
The phone number underneath the hotel is not the hotel’s phone number but rather hotels.com phone number. This might surprise the user who was expecting to directly contact the hotel, especially as the phone number was alongside the address of the hotel and visually identical. Presumably this lack of transparency is to benefit hotels.com Thanks… Read more »
As reported by Phil Freo (“Honestly.com not acting so honestly”). Honestly.com uses a tactic to bait unregistered users into thinking they received an anonymous review from someone in their social graph. Only after registering, “opting in” and disclosing their social graph, the user finds out there is no review. Someone created a profile of… Read more »
When a user visits TheLadders.co.uk homepage, they see the claim “The best way to find only £50k+ jobs”. Underneath this heading is a prominent search form. TheLadders.co.uk Homepage The search UI is essentially a decoy: users cannot search until they have registered (see below). However, registration has a free option that allows users to… Read more »
When Scribd.com originally launched, it was pitched as a “YouTube for documents”. The “Free” end of its original Freemium business model allowed users to upload and view documents in an unlimited capacity, making money from display advertising. All of a sudden, in September 2010, Scribd.com put a substantial chunk of user uploads behind a paywall… Read more »
As reported by Paul Adams (“Hey Nike, Get your crap out of my newsfeed”), in May 2010 Nike used a rather nefarious tactic of forcing users to click “Like” in order to see a World-cup football video. As a naïve user, “Like” doesn’t quite do what you’d expect – rather than just indicating to your… Read more »