Collection of Dark UX Patterns

This post documents a collection of dark UX patterns used by various products and services. Design is a powerful skill that either improves the world we live in or makes us miserable. Dark UX patterns are designs that focus on commercial benefits at the expense of users, using persuasive or, at times, unethical methods to make us do things we don’t want.

UXPin cancellation

I subscribed to UXPin recently to test out the features and see if it was of any good to projects. Turned out I didn’t really need it and I was looking high and low for the cancellation option until I found it hidden as a fine print, in super light grey text that no one can see. I wonder how ethical it is to make it so difficult for people to cancel their subscription. Well, I cancelled anyway.

oBike – Cancellation Refund

oBike cancellation refund

Saw this on Linkedin some time back. Once again, hidden refund text no one can see. Compared to UXPin, oBike made it worse by adding a huge call-to-action (CTA) button to “Be an oBike VIP”.

If you managed to spot the first “Continue to refund” link, how about the second “Confirm” button that’s again styled in light grey text?

Seriously, if people want to leave, they will. No matter how hard you try to stop them, they’ll leave. Leveraging on behavioural psychology to cheat users into pressing the wrong button, shame on you.

Learn more about Dark UX and see the Hall of Shame

Published by


Design coach, Lift buttons enthusiast, Creator of bad puns. @IxDA Regional coordinator for Asia. Let’s make things better!