Instead of providing standard checkboxes to opt into installing extra software, AMD Catalyst disguises those checkboxes and hides them in the margin, where they blend into the background image.
Sneak into Basket
The user attempts to purchase a specific item. However, somewhere in the purchasing journey the site sneaks an additional item into their basket, often through the use of an opt-out radio button or checkbox on a prior page.
Active.com is a service that allows you to find and participate in sporting events. At the end of your purchase, you verify the contents of your cart, agree to various terms, and enter your billing information. At this point they display a screen containing fine print. In this fine print is a statement that you… Read more »
During checkout at livenation.com, there’s an un-ticked checkbox that must be ticked to decline a paid subscription to Rolling Stone. Worse yet, this box is in the “Privacy Information” section. If you miss this checkbox and want to cancel the subscription, you have to do so by mail.
The See Ticket sneak in to basket dark pattern first appeared on this site in March 2013. See the original post here. Since then it has been reported that EU ministers will prohibit the ‘pre-populating’ of checkboxes by online retailers tricking the customer in to purchasing items or services they do not need. The seller… Read more »
On Pixmania, a site that mainly sells consumer electronics, after a user has added some computer RAM to their basket they pre-select a checkbox to add an extended warranty onto the lightbox as they ask if the user wants to proceed to checkout, see the image below. The second image shows that while in the… Read more »
Below is a screenshot from Seetickets.com (taken March 2013). The tickets purchased in this example total £83.81. However, there’s a pre-checked “cancellation protection” fee for £3.00 that is not shown in the price anywhere on the page. Hitting “Buy tickets” then debited the credit card for £86.81, shown below on the confirmation page: Unwary users… Read more »
Below you can see a screengrab of the basket on hoseasons.co.uk after the user has clicked on the “book” button for a holiday listed as £259.00. You can see the original price (black arrow added for clarity on left to indicate) and the two extra items in the basket (black arrow on right – also… Read more »
If you search for a specific domain name on 123-reg.co.uk (last recorded July 2010), 123-reg does you the non-courtesy of preselecting a load of other top-level domains for you (.co, .co.uk, .eu, etc), many of them preselected with 2-year rather than a cheaper 1-year duration. To their credit, they don’t try to hide it –… Read more »
When using Firefox on Windows to download the newest version of Adobe Flash Player, users are shown the following page (October 2010): Adobe Flash Download page for Firefox. Note that McAfee’s Security Scan Plus is pre-ticked As you can see on the right hand side of the page, the checkbox to download McAfee “Security Scan… Read more »
This example combines a number of different Dark Patterns. When buying insurance on Rac.co.uk, the user eventually reaches a “Quote” page, equivalent to a basket view page. Two prominent monthly payment options are shown. There is in fact a third, substantially cheaper option. If you look at the grey box below the “Confirm & buy”… Read more »