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Willing to dig further on dark patterns? Here are curated resources, including hundreds of publications we analyzed in our R&D Lab, conferences, webinars and job opportunities to fight dark patterns.

Caroline Stockman and Emma Nottingham

Cute design features, like avatars with large eyes and childlike voices, have become ubiquitous in digital software. Their ability to evoke feelings of endearment and trust is harnessed across applications for both adults and children. However, while effective, their use in children's learning apps can raise concerns about privacy and healthy development.

Christof van Nimwegen

Dark Patterns, pervasive in online interfaces, exert subtle yet powerful influences on user behavior, often leading to unintended actions. This paper, stemming from research at Utrecht University, sheds light on various dimensions of Dark Patterns. The exploration includes topics such as device context, novel metrics like the DPDS and SDS, and the identification of Muscle Memory as a significant factor. By offering these insights, the aim is to enhance awareness and empower users in navigating digital environments responsibly.

Jan Trzaskowski

The term "dark patterns" has emerged as a crucial framework for dissecting deceptive design practices in online interfaces. Yet, distinguishing lawful persuasion from unlawful manipulation requires a deeper dive into agency, self-determination, and regulatory interpretation. This article delves into the intersection of design, persuasion, and law, shedding light on the complexities inherent in shaping user behavior while adhering to EU data protection and marketing regulations.

Praneetha Sali

This study examines the widespread use of dark patterns in gaming, particularly focusing on push notifications. Surveying 156 respondents across diverse age and gender groups, the goal is to understand how these patterns influence user behavior. Statistical analysis using ANOVA in R software offers insights into the ethical implications of such design elements.

Weiwei Yi

In the realm of virtual gaming, the subtle orchestration of player actions by game designers through "dark patterns" raises ethical concerns. Regulatory debates, such as those surrounding loot boxes, highlight the need to address these manipulative practices. Recent actions, like the FTC's fine on Fortnite, underscore the broader impact of deceptive interface designs. By examining these issues together, policymakers can better protect player autonomy and consumer welfare in gaming.

Vibhav Singh, Niraj Kumar Vishvakarma, Hoshiar Mal and Vinod Kumar

This study utilizes the Analytic Hierarchy Process to assess and prioritize dark patterns employed by e-commerce companies. Unveiling insights from consultations with corporate and academic specialists, the findings highlight the economic impact of these manipulative tactics. Notably, exigency, social proof, forced action, and sneaking stand out as high revenue-generating dark patterns, while obstruction and misdirection yield marginal profits. The paper suggests practical techniques for companies to annually prioritize dark patterns, optimizing profits with minimal trade-offs. Recognizing the strategic implications, this research underscores how e-commerce companies can enhance efficiency by selectively implementing lucrative dark patterns and avoiding those with marginal returns, ultimately benefiting both the business and consumers.

Dominique Kelly and Victoria L. Rubin

This study investigates dark patterns, intentional user interface (UI) strategies, prevalent in 25 social networking sites (SNSs). Analyzing attempts to disable experimental accounts, they identified major dark pattern types (Complete Obstruction, Temporary Obstruction, Obfuscation, Inducements to Reconsider, and Consequences). Findings reveal the pervasive use of these manipulative UI strategies across all examined SNSs, underscoring the challenges users face in disengaging from platforms. This research advocates for further exploration to assess the necessity of enhanced industry regulation.

Sandeep Sharma J. and Dr. Ishita Sharma

This paper explores the deceptive realm of dark patterns – marketing strategies that exploit cognitive biases, nudging consumers towards decisions misaligned with their preferences. Coined by Harry Bignull, dark patterns utilize behavioral science to compromise independent decision-making, favoring economic growth for digital platforms. Graphical representations illustrate the manipulative nature of these tactics. The erosion of decisional privacy, where apparent free will conceals cognitive exploitation, is dissected. The paper analyzes the existing Indian regulatory framework and proposes amendments to address algorithmically induced marketing strategies, advocating for consumer protection in the evolving landscape of digital commerce.

Martijn Warnier, Francien Dechesne and Frances M.T Brazier

In an age dominated by extensive data collection, the once self-evident right to privacy is diminishing. This chapter explores the vital need for designing systems with user privacy at the forefront. Concepts like "Privacy by Design," "Value Sensitive Design," and "Privacy Enhancing Technologies" are discussed as approaches to integrate privacy considerations. Real-world examples, from smart meters to electronic health records, highlight the challenges in balancing functionality with the imperative of preserving privacy in contemporary digital landscapes.

Maria Goretti Simoes

'Dark patterns' are deceptive design elements on websites deliberately crafted to mislead users into making harmful decisions. Commonly found in online subscriptions and advertising, these elements, often visually appealing, can make it challenging for users to reverse choices. The author explores the impact on consumers, analyzes international laws, and presents empirical data to underscore the need for protecting users from these misleading design practices.

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