Types of dark pattern

  • Bait and Switch ›

    You set out to do one thing, but a different, undesirable thing happens instead.

  • Disguised Ads ›

    Adverts that are disguised as other kinds of content or navigation, in order to get you to click on them.

  • Forced Continuity ›

    When your free trial with a service comes to an end and your credit card silently starts getting charged without any warning. In some cases this is made even worse by making it difficult to cancel the membership.

  • Friend Spam ›

    The product asks for your email or social media permissions under the pretence it will be used for a desirable outcome (e.g. finding friends), but then spams all your contacts in a message that claims to be from you.

  • Hidden Costs ›

    You get to the last step of the checkout process, only to discover some unexpected charges have appeared, e.g. delivery charges, tax, etc.

  • Misdirection ›

    The design purposefully focuses your attention on one thing in order to distract you attention from another.

  • Price Comparison Prevention ›

    The retailer makes it hard for you to compare the price of an item with another item, so you cannot make an informed decision.

  • Privacy Zuckering ›

    You are tricked into publicly sharing more information about yourself than you really intended to. Named after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Roach Motel ›

    The design makes it very easy for you to get into a certain situation, but then makes it hard for you to get out of it (e.g. a subscription).

  • Sneak into Basket ›

    You attempt to purchase something, but somewhere in the purchasing journey the site sneaks an additional item into your basket, often through the use of an opt-out radio button or checkbox on a prior page.

  • Trick Questions ›

    You respond to a question, which, when glanced upon quickly appears to ask one thing, but if read carefully, asks another thing entirely.