DARK PATTERNS: MALICIOUS INTERFACE DESIGN FROM A USERS’ PERSPECTIVE
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Dark Patterns are user interface design choices that benefit an online service by coercing, steering, or deceiving users into performing certain actions they did not intend to do. The various malicious strategies that were identified as ‘Dark Patterns’ were found to be prevalent on numerous online platforms, and were also found to be highly effective. To prevent Dark Patterns from continuing to harm users, awareness of Dark Patterns needs to be created, and a better understanding of Dark Patterns needs to be developed. The current study aims to contribute to this objective by looking at Dark Patterns from a user’s perspective. First of all, it investigates the effect of Dark Patterns upon the user’s experience. Second, it captures a user’s take upon the level of severity of each of the Dark Pattern types, and turns this into a ‘Dark Pattern Darkness Score’ (DPDS), which can be used to classify Dark Pattern types based upon their severity-impact. Lastly, the current study takes the first steps into developing a ‘System Darkness Scale’ (SDS), which can be used to evaluate the ‘darkness’ of a system as a whole.