Dark patterns are design practices that are intended to use flaws in our brains to manipulate us to do things that are against our best interests. Examples are opt-out systems that require a person to take some action to stop something from happening. Many studies have shown that opt-out systems cause many more people to sign up for something than if they’d had to opt-in to it. They’ve taken the path of least resistance and trusted that the defaults will work for them OK. Unfortunately that’s becoming less and less true as industries discover how to use these patterns and flaws in our wiring against us.
I believe that everyone who builds technology should take a stand against these bad practices. We need to say that we won’t build things that manipulate people against their best interests.