What is dark pattern and what does it mean for you?

Dark pattern is one of the less scrupulous aspects of web design that some sites employ to force users to take an action. Read on to find out more about dark pattern and how it can backfire.

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What is dark pattern?

Dark pattern design relies on deception. It also relies on the fact that there is just so much content on the web. When you visit a website, you are often inundated with text, ads, multimedia content and more, which means users are more likely to skim rather than read every word.

Dark pattern works by slipping in text, tick boxes, buttons and other design elements that ‘trick’ the user into doing something they may not actually want to do, such as signing up for a subscription or adding a product to an existing order. Other examples include making users jump through hoops to close their account, disguising adverts as something else to make people click through or forcing users to share additional private information. Consent notifications can also be a target for dark pattern design.

It is called ‘dark pattern’ because darker text and background colours are often used to make the design elements less prominent.

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What does it mean for you?

On some level, it might be tempting to employ dark pattern design. The idea of getting visitors to your site to do something you want them to do is, of course, appealing; however, if you have worked hard to drive organic traffic to your site with a view to these visitors converting and becoming loyal customers, tricking them into doing something is only going drive them away and negatively impact on your integrity and reputation. Many of us have been caught out by dark pattern deception and we can freely talk about our experiences on social media.

If you use professionals in web design in Yorkshire or elsewhere, such as https://www.etempa.co.uk/, you can be sure your site is set up to be user-friendly and encourages visitors to stick around for all the right reasons.

Overall, the best advice is to think twice before you dabble in the dark arts of dark pattern design. People who enjoy a positive experience on your website are far more likely to return and to praise your business to others.a

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