More often than not, a user will go on a website with a specific task in mind – to browse, to buy, or to learn. But how much of what one does on the website is done of the consumer’s own volition?
Companies’ use of “dark patterns” can potentially, and many times, very effectively, get a consumer to make a specific decision on their websites contrary to what the consumer actually wants. Some dark patterns mistakenly misdirect consumers, while others intentionally and coercively “force” them to act in a certain way. These patterns can take the form of trick questions, misleading information, or even hidden information, as well as color blocks and fonts placed in a certain location of the website that can skew consumer behavior. Even the unintentional use of dark patterns makes decision-making confusing for consumers and erodes trust.