The dark (patterns) side of UX design

Colin M. Gray, Yubo Kou, Bryan Battles, Joseph Hoggatt, Austin L. Toombs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interest in critical scholarship that engages with the complexity of user experience (UX) practice is rapidly expanding, yet the vocabulary for describing and assessing criticality in practice is currently lacking. In this paper, we outline and explore the limits of a specific ethical phenomenon known as "dark patterns," where user value is supplanted in favor of shareholder value. We assembled a corpus of examples of practitioner-identified dark patterns and performed a content analysis to determine the ethical concerns contained in these examples. This analysis revealed a wide range of ethical issues raised by practitioners that were frequently conflated under the umbrella term of dark patterns, while also underscoring a shared concern that UX designers could easily become complicit in manipulative or unreasonably persuasive practices. We conclude with implications for the education and practice of UX designers, and a proposal for broadening research on the ethics of user experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationEngage with CHI
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356206, 9781450356213
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2018
Event2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Apr 21 2018Apr 26 2018

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
Volume2018-April

Other

Other2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period4/21/184/26/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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    Gray, C. M., Kou, Y., Battles, B., Hoggatt, J., & Toombs, A. L. (2018). The dark (patterns) side of UX design. In CHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Engage with CHI (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings; Vol. 2018-April). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3173574.3174108