Dark patterns in User Interface Design

In their paper, Narayanan et al. give a thorough overview of the concept of “dark patterns”. These practices in the design of user interface evolved from research in deceptive practices in retail, nudging and growth hacking. Examples include asking for a user’s phone number on the pretense of security and then using it for advertising or deceptive countdown timers for special offers on shopping sites in order to put time pressure on users. 

Especially interesting for us is the fact that they also give recommendations for designers to avoid dark patterns. Their main point is to clearly articulate the values that guide the design process and then continue to debate them internally. Furthermore, they point out that these issues are often beyond the scope of individual designers and thus should be part of the design process in general. This is exactly where EDAP can be useful. It embeds itself into the (agile) software development process and offers developers and designers a framework to explore and express their values. In addition it makes decision processes transparent and easy to review.