Last updated 2022-11-05 03:50:45

What Is A Dark Pattern?

Table of contents


Dark Patterns involve confusing user interface [→] elements used to entice a user to perform specific actions.

Use cases and Examples

There are many types of dark patterns and below are a few of them:

  • Bait and switch: This is when the label on something makes it seem you are performing one action but ends up being something else. You experience this with video titles that say one thing but the video ends up being something different.

  • Forced Continuity: This is when a platform makes it difficult to exit or stop using a service. A simple example is when the unsubscribe button is hidden or takes multiple steps to uncover.

  • Hidden Cost: This is when the cost of purchasing a product or service is not made clear enough and the user ends up with a bill greater than what was made obvious.


Dark patterns at the moment are not illegal but more of an ethical problem. This can be seen as an extreme growth hacking tactic, but one that could result in bad user experience and doesn't seem to be a long-term solution for product growth.

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