2.11 Avoid Manipulative Patterns
Manipulating the visitor into doing things you want them to is a short-term gain, long-term loss tactic tool. It’s ethically bad, unsustainable, and should be avoided at all costs.
- Dark and Deceptive Design Patterns: Avoid what are commonly known as dark patterns, deceptive design, or unethical coding techniques, which manipulate visitors into taking actions not necessarily in their best interest (anti-right click, no-copy, requiring an account to purchase, etc).
- Using Advertisements: Advertisements and sponsorships are both ethical and clearly identified with the product or service, only presenting them when they provide real economic and ethical value and don’t diminish a visitor’s experience.
- Page Tracking: Remove unused and unconsented page tracking.
Many deceptive design patterns have visitors wasting time and energy trying to undo choices they never intended to make. Avoiding them therefore reduces energy use.
Many deceptive patterns are intentionally designed to undermine data privacy. Ensuring you comply with ethical privacy practices and avoiding such patterns will avoid potential legal conflicts. You also reduce additional data being sent among the providers of tracking and advertising data.
Dark and deceptive design patterns often intentionally block or hide access to information, which especially undermines the experience of people with disabilities who use assistive technologies. By avoiding them, you will give those with accessibility needs justification to trust your brand. Furthermore, avoiding poor implementations such as overlays will prevent making any existing situations worse.
Interference with the user-interface (such as removing the ability to copy text) causes friction and forces the visitor to spend more time on the page to work around the barrier put in place. This uses additional energy as they try to find a solution onsite, elsewhere, or give up entirely. Using ethical, non-disruptive coding practices will speed up interactions within your website.
Ethical websites incentivize customers to whitelist your website on ad-blockers.
Avoiding dark and deceptive patterns will likely result in fewer complaints. A classic example of this is the use of CAPTCHAs which can disrupt the visitor, cause accessibility issues, and reduce the legitimate use of your product or service.
- materials: Low
- energy: Low
- water: Low
- emissions: Low
- Examples of dark patterns to be avoided.
- 48 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics 2023
- Biased By Design
- Dark pattern
- Dark patterns in UX: how designers should be responsible for their actions
- Dealing with Ads in 2020
- Deceptive Patterns
- Design Justice Network Principles
- Digital sustainability audits: a de facto standard for the Internet carbon footprint
- Fair Patterns
- Fastest Ad Blocker: 13 Best We Tested for Performance in 2023
- [GR491] 10-3070 – Dark Patterns
- [GR491] 10-3073 – Advertisements
- Guide to using analytics for performance and privacy
- How to Build a Low-tech Website?
- How to Win More Customers by Reducing User Friction
- How UX design can help tackle climate change
- Humane By Design
- Is GDPR Good for the Environment?
- Just normal web things
- Learn Privacy
- Ledger of Harms
- OpQuast 8 – Advertisements and sponsored content are identified as such.
- Overlay Fact Sheet
- Overlay False Claims
- Six Dark Patterns to Avoid On Your Website
- Society Centered Design
- The Calm Web
- Tracking Protection in Firefox For Privacy and Performance
- Web Sustainability Pocket Guide (PDF)
- Why People Block Ads (And What It Means for Marketers and Advertisers)
- Why you should stop using Google Analytics on your website