Have you come across an intentional bad UX in some product like an application or even a website? this term can be called a Dark pattern which is Harry Brignull defined as

“a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills,”

As we know when we create a UI/UX Design we try to exploit human psychology. The purpose is to get users to do things as they want. So a Dark Pattern tries to exploit it and try to create a misleading for the user.

Type of Dark Pattern

Bait and Switch

Bait and Switch
Bait and Switch

The use of this pattern is for creating a result which something completely unforeseen. For the example, we can take a close look at Windows 10 upgrade which when we close the tab it’s not for canceling the upgrade but resulted in the upgrade by initializing.

A good Bait and Switch is when we as designers provide content that has value for the user and asks something in return. For Example when a product tries to give a free ebook in exchange for an email address

Disguised Ads

Resist the Dark Forces: 12 Types of Dark Patterns | by Lily | UX Collective
Disguised Ads

This Pattern tries to make advertising is hard to see in plain view. Like, make them become one as regular content or navigation in the products.

For example when we try to find a download button on some website which sometimes leads us to some random website that is not what we looking for.

This type of dark pattern tries to make users click the ads instead of finding the right navigation they intended to do.

Forced Continuity

What You Need to Know About "Dark Patterns" and How They Trick Users - Make  Tech Easier
Forced Continuity

Getting a Free trial for a service is something many people want, but not all companies can provide this kind of service anytime or every time. So it resulted to a company using some kind of trick when we will getting charge after specific of times.

Forces Continuity can be found on the subscription-based product. But the sad part is after the free trial is done sometimes the user does not get a reminder and hard to cancel the services.

Is not the company that tried to scam the user, it will show the information but not be visible to the eyes. So when you tried to register something please read everything carefully to not get dark into this dark pattern.

Hidden Cost

Dark Patterns: 12 Tricks You Should Never Use in Your Products — User  Experience
Hidden Cost

When we try to purchase something, there are many steps we need to complete the checkout process. In the final checkout process, we will discover some unexpected charges for services like delivery charges, tax, etc. That type of feature can be called hidden costs.

Many marketplaces try to be transparent about it. but if you go to some e-retailer you can find this kind of dark pattern when you see a price that does not include the tax or delivery fee.

That will make the user confused why the price is not the same which they advertised to the user in the first place.


Of course, these patterns try to make the user not notice something. By guiding the direction of attention to a specific place. This sometimes happens when we try to install some application and it included another application which we don’t need.

This pattern sometimes tries to hide it from our reading flow, or Z processing. By placing the content outside the Z process outside the flow of reading.

Roach Motel

By designing an easy flow to get into certain situations, but very hard to get out called Roach Motel. This type of dark pattern is pretty common in product design.

I know, many of us still have a subscription or registered account in some service which we not using anymore. Because we don’t know how or feel too lazy to delete the account or unsubscribe from their services.

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This dark pattern sometimes is used in an early stage of the product. When the products are still new and need many users to register as much as possible.

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