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Learn about dark patterns, fair patterns and much more

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.
In this episode of OPENBOX, Marie Potel-Saville, CEO of amurabi and founder of Fair-Patterns, shares insights on tackling deceptive designs. Marie sheds light on key considerations and how fair patterns revolutionize business propositions, aiming for more ethical and transparent practices in the digital sphere. Tune in for a concise yet compelling discussion on this critical issue.

Logan Warberg, Vincent Lefrere, Cristobal Cheyre and Alessandro Acquisti

The research investigates the transformation of privacy dialogs on 911 US and EU news and media websites in the 18 months following the GDPR implementation. The researchers observed a positive trend: an increase in privacy dialogs offering clear choices to accept or reject tracking, accompanied by a decrease in manipulative nudges. This shift suggests that external interventions, such as government guidance, may prompt websites to improve GDPR compliance and make it easier for users to reject tracking.

Mengyi Long, Jiangrong Wu, Qihua Ou and Yuhong Nan

In this research, they have delved into the pervasive issue of Dark User Interface (DUI) patterns within mobile apps, particularly focusing on China's mobile ecosystem. The systematic investigation reveals the prevalence of deceptive UI designs that can mislead users into unintended actions. With a taxonomy of DUI patterns and analysis of top mobile apps, they highlight the urgent need for better regulation and user awareness to mitigate potential harm caused by these deceptive practices.

Sandeep Sharma J. and Ishita Sharma Dr.

Dark patterns in consumer marketing exploit cognitive biases, steering individuals towards decisions that conflict with their genuine preferences. These manipulative tactics, designed by digital platforms, compromise consumers' autonomy for economic gain. This study exposes these covert strategies, advocates for regulatory reforms under the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 in India, and aims to safeguard consumers from the deleterious impact of dark patterns.

Kristian Hannula

This research investigates the impact of dark design patterns on user experience within internet and mobile applications. Dark patterns, manipulative strategies employed by system owners, pose risks by coercing users into sharing excessive personal information or engaging in unintended subscriptions. Through a literature review, this study aims to identify prevalent dark patterns, examine their effects on user behavior, and discuss the ethical implications in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Despite limitations, this research offers valuable insights into these exploitative tactics and their implications for user experience.

M.R. Leiser

In today's digital landscape, AI-powered deceptive design strategies subtly manipulate user decisions online, exploiting psychological patterns. The urgency to address these risks has prompted scrutiny under the EU's AI Act Proposal, particularly Article 5(1). This article emphasizes the crucial balance between innovation and safeguarding user autonomy. It delves into the dynamics of psychological manipulation, advocating for effective regulation to counter deceptive practices and maintain user agency amid technological advancements.

Satwik ram Kodandaram, Mohan Sunkara, Sampath Jayarathna and Vikas Ashok

In the digital landscape, advertisements play a pivotal role, but their impact on blind users navigating websites with screen readers has been a largely unexplored territory. Through interviews with 18 blind participants, our study revealed a significant challenge: blind users are often misled by ads seamlessly integrated into the web page content. Conventional ad blockers face resistance, compelling us to devise an algorithm for automatic identification of contextually deceptive ads. Our multi-modal model, incorporating both handcrafted and automatically extracted features, demonstrated remarkable effectiveness with F1 scores of 0.86 and 0.88 on test datasets and real-world websites, respectively. This research sheds light on the nuanced experiences of blind users and introduces a practical solution to enhance their online interactions by addressing the deceptive nature of visually designed ads.

Tom Biselli, Laura Utz and Christian Reuter

This study addresses the privacy risks posed by browser cookies, particularly third-party ones, through a personalized cookie banner. Semistructured interviews, identified user attitudes and requirements. The subsequent online experiment evaluated a personalized privacy assistant, a non-personalized version, and a standard website cookie banner. Results showed both versions of the novel banner significantly reduced accepted cookies and improved usability compared to the standard banner. Importantly, the personalized variant outperformed the non-personalized, emphasizing the efficacy of tailoring cookie banners to users' privacy knowledge for informed choices and enhanced privacy protection.

Rene Befurt and Helene Rowland

Since the coining of "dark patterns" in 2010, these deceptive design practices have faced heightened scrutiny, especially in relation to online services. The emergence of government actions and legal battles against digital companies prompts a critical question: when do consent and cancellation processes become dark patterns? A recent webinar hosted by the ABA Antitrust Law Section delved into this, featuring experts discussing criteria for spotting dark patterns. The discussion centered on how regulators evaluate advertising behavior, the existence of reasonable standards, and the role of empirical evidence in discerning potential disparate effects on consumers. This event aimed to illuminate the complexities of dark patterns, offering insights into their identification within the digital realm.

Yuwen Lu, Chao Zhang, Yuewen Yang, Yaxing Yao, Toby Jia-Jun Li

The study explores UX dark patterns, deceptive UI designs prevalent in online services. Building upon previous work addressing dark patterns from the designer's and policymaker's perspectives, the paper proposes an end-user-empowerment approach. This aims to raise user awareness of dark patterns, help them understand design intents, and empower them to counter these effects using web augmentation. The two-phase co-design study, comprising five workshops and a two-week technology probe, delves into user needs, preferences, and challenges, offering insights into their reactions to empowered awareness and actions in a realistic in-situ setting.

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