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Transgressions in Digital Design

A Pecha Kucha presentation that I gave at Nest 20/20 on December 3, 2014 at Nest Coworking in Thornbury, Victoria.

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Transgressions in Digital Design

  1. 1. Transgressions in Digital Design Matthew Magain UX Mastery @mattymcg
  2. 2. This isn’t a talk about bad design. When I talk about transgression, I’m not referring to poor layout or choice of colour palette or typeface. That’s just shit design.
  3. 3. And I won’t dwell on intrusive design either—pop-ups, pop-unders, and interstitial ads that content sites use to get our attention can be frustrating and annoying. But there are even more evil practices.
  4. 4. Dark Patterns “A type of user interface that appears to have been carefully crafted to trick users into doing something they did not intend to do.”
  5. 5. Kogan is one of Australia’s largest online retailers. They sell everything from fashion to sporting goods to gadgets and more. And they know that the key to successful ecommerce is email marketing.
  6. 6. Which is why they make it really hard for you to opt out of their marketing emails. It’s 5 clicks—first you’re given the choice between a 1-week and a 2-week break. You have to continually find the “more options” link.
  7. 7. You’ve probably heard of GoDaddy. They’re the biggest domain registrar in the world. And the cheapest—there are some great deals on offer for your first 12 months …
  8. 8. So why, when I add a domain to my cart, is the default set to 5 years? $143? That’s a lot different from the $9.99 per year that was advertised when I clicked “add to cart”. Crazy!
  9. 9. The Pecha Kucha presentation format (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide) is fast and furious. This is just a slide I added to remind myself to take a drink and catch my breath. It got a few laughs :)
  10. 10. Let’s talk about Candy Crush. It’s a wildly popular puzzle game, with all sorts of shiny visuals and sound effects that make it addictive.
  11. 11. But they take massive liberties when inviting your Facebook friends to play, or informing them of your high score. Even worse, you can’t see these posts on your timeline. A quick way to get de-friended!
  12. 12. How great is this concept car from Subaru? I was procrastisurfing the other day, dreaming about winning the lotto and one day buying a new car. I thought I’d download a brochure as part of my research …
  13. 13. Subaru asks for your name, your email address, phone number, post code. And then they force you to answer the question “Are you planning on purchasing in the next few months?” All just to download a brochure!
  14. 14. There were a few sheepish grins when I showed this website. It’s The Pirate Bay, probably the most famous portal for illegal torrents of media. We can expect there might be some ethical boundaries pushed here.
  15. 15. Can you see where to click to download the movie that I searched for? I’ll give you a hint —it’s not any of the “Download” buttons. Clicking them will install some crap on your machine that you don’t need!
  16. 16. And then when you finally click the right link, you’ll need a tool like Fuze to download the torrent. Vuze tries really hard to convince you it’s a legitimate tool, spruiking its ease of use and pushing indie content …
  17. 17. And yet, when you go to install the thing, it tries to trick you into installing all of this other stuff on your machine—Searchme, Slick Savings, Ebay & Amazon Shopping Assistant and a bunch of other malware crap.
  18. 18. When you realise what’s happened it’s too late, so you type “how do I uninstall Savings Slider” and end up on a website like Experts Exchange. Someone has published the answer—great!
  19. 19. Trying to be helpful, you copy and paste the link of this solution to send to your mum, as she is having the same problem. But Experts Exchange actually detect that she didn’t come from Google, and mask it!
  20. 20. darkpatterns.org • Road Block • Sneak into Basket • Friend Spam • Forced Disclosure • Misdirection • Disguised Ads • Forced Continuity That was a whirlwind tour of some of the dark patterns in use by unscrupulous web designers. UK-based designer Harry Brignull has documented more at his website, darkpatterns.org. Check it out!

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    Dec. 15, 2014
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    Dec. 19, 2014
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    Jun. 1, 2016

A Pecha Kucha presentation that I gave at Nest 20/20 on December 3, 2014 at Nest Coworking in Thornbury, Victoria.


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