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

The Dashboard for Bus Drivers

I’ve been taking buses more frequently now that I’ve sold my car and I can’t help but observe how bus drivers have been using this complex-looking two-piece screen device that’s in front of them.

On closer look, the top screen seems to be “touch screen” enabled where the driver can tap on the various icons such as the microphone to make an announcement and also view information about the trip like what is the next stop.

The bottom screen however looks non-touch screen, where existing buttons on the sides are configured for a particular purpose as shown on the screen. E.g. button “0” is meant for “End Trip”.

I wonder how long bus drivers took to master the usage of this two-piece dashboard and how often mistakes were made when using it.

Which also leads me to wonder, how can we simplify the design to make it user friendly?

The Chronicles of Lift Buttons

As some of you may know, I’m fascinated by lift buttons. Yes, you’ve read it right. Lift buttons are such an interesting component of our daily life but not many people pay attention to them. Here, I’ve collated a list of interesting lift buttons I came across and also from others. If you have an interesting lift button pic to share, send it to me 🙂

Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Lobby C
The Arcade, Raffles Place
The Arcade, Raffles Place