Dark patterns .. Here are the main tricks that target the consumer on the internet

“Nobody knows I’m a dog.” It was the response of a dog standing in a caricature behind a chat screen on the internet and responding to the surprise of another dog who continues to talk to people. The previous picture summarizes the situation of internet users with creatures scattered throughout the blue world whose weapons are tricks and deceptions to trap them in its various traps.

And when it comes to scams, tricks and traps, it’s not just about criminals, but it’s spread among a number of companies and internet sites that seek to influence consumer decisions through psychological tricks or design elements, which are manipulated or falsified into what stands out. Known as dark patterns.

dark pattern

According to Al Jazeera Net, digital and consumer law advisor Jennifer Kaiser explained that dark patterns are product design elements created to make the user do things he does not want, and are often procedures that benefit the company and not the user. For example, an e-book containing tips can be promoted on diets or pets for $ 1 plus shipping, but after purchasing this book, the user is surprised that there is an error in the account.

Paid subscription trick

The German consumer protection specialist added that this error was due to the inclusion of the monthly subscription in the account, a subscription that the user did not want at all, but was implemented without his knowledge when purchasing the e-book , and in such cases the user falls into the trap of subscriptions paid for by printed items Small print on the website, hidden between large areas, surfaces and colored buttons, which serves to distract the user’s attention.

“The dark patterns started with cookie banners, with users complaining about very intrusive and confusing windows that require the adjustment of privacy settings when they visit a new website,” Kaiser said.

“Half of the cookies for cookies contain dark patterns,” said Peter Haines, IT and data protection lawyer.

tricks and tricks

Website operators rely on certain tricks and games to get customers to take certain actions, for example banner cookies.

“The most appropriate alternative to privacy and data protection is to be sidelined or in a place that is not easily seen,” explained Professor Frank Karagel, of the University of Ulm, Germany.

If the user does not want to share his usage data while browsing a web site on the web, he has to go through many checkboxes and subpages to select all the options manually.

Too many actions often result in the user accepting all the annoying cookies, and the banner for cookies is designed so that the user is forced to accept them automatically, if the user wants to get to a specific website quickly, they will probably click on click Preselected option in the dialog, so as not to stop the user during the browsing process.

Another common scam is that a product, which the user has not selected, suddenly appears in the shopping cart just before payment, or chooses certain options such as obtaining travel insurance when booking a flight, which is pre-selected.

Other examples of dark patterns include companies and retailers hiding customer service contact information, or canceling purchases in inconspicuous places on menus.

Professor Karagel added, “Sometimes there is an urgency for the user, for example by the appearance of a countdown or the presence of one vacant room on the hotel booking portal, for example, written in red (only one room remains). ). ” The user may also feel guilty when messages such as “If all data is not filled in may not be completed, our service may not show the best possible result”.

Kaiser explained that the problem is that these practices are considered legal, if the flight booking portal indicates that there are only a few flights or a very limited number of offers, then it is considered a “marketing method” and is legally permissible, and legislators did not interfere Except on a very limited scale in this matter.

ways of protection

In order for the user to protect himself from dark patterns and not fall into the trap of these scams, he should search through search engines for these dark patterns, which can be identified by web groups, case studies and consumer protection centers.

German experts stressed the need to be careful and cautious in the first place when clicking on the buttons that appear quickly, and to check the wording of the texts, which appear when buying products online, and to make sure make the amount to be paid before buying the products.

Leave a Comment