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Amritanshu Dev Rawat
Amritanshu Dev Rawat

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Deceptive Patterns

  • About deceptive patterns.
  • Types of deceptive patterns.
  • Why do businesses use deceptive patterns?
  • Why businesses should not use deceptive patterns?

About deceptive patterns

Have you ever checked out the free trial and later on without notifying you your credit card was charged? or you signed up for one newsletter and by clicking 'submit' you accept other newsletters too? or you paid to a subscription but there is no easy way to unsubscribe?

Well, It happens to everyone! These experiences are examples of deceptive patterns.

Deceptive patterns are UX methods that trick users into doing to buying something they wouldn't otherwise have done or bought.

In simple words, deceptive patterns trick users into unintentionally completing an action online.

It can be done through visuals, interactive, audio, motions, etc. that are added to the design.

Types of deceptive patterns

1. Sneak into the basket

When a user has to remove an item from their cart if they don’t want to buy it, which is an extra step that could be easily missed.

Eg: like a service or some extra plan is pre-selected as "add to my cart"

2. Price prevention comparison

Making it intentionally difficult to compare prices so the user can’t make the best decision for themselves.

Eg: Buy at $1/Apple

3. Hidden costs

Hidden or unexpected charges in the user’s cart that are not revealed until the end of the checkout process.

4. Forced continuity

The practice of charging a user for a membership without a warning or a reminder.

5. Disguised ads

Ads hidden in the page and made to look as if they were a part of the regular content or navigation.

Eg: Download button that is not an actual download button

6. Others

Bait and switch, Friend spam, Misdirection, Trap door, etc.

Why do businesses use deceptive patterns?

Obviously for sales and profits.

Why businesses should not use deceptive patterns?

Deceptive patterns are unethical and should be avoided. Being clear and honest with your users will strengthen their trust in
your brand and product.


  • Google UX

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