Are you tired of being pestered to allow notifications or access to your location? Do you wonder why you have to give your credit card number in order to sign up for “free” trials? Why weren’t you told about the shipping costs until the very last screen in the purchase process? Are you sure that you didn’t intend to sign up for all those newsletters? You’re not alone, and you’re not simply being subjected to clever marketing. You’ve been the victim of dark patterns: specific, scientifically-proven techniques designed to favor shareholder value over user value. In part 1 of my interview with Dr. Colin Gray, we’ll discuss all the ways in which we’re being manipulated and why, as mere humans, we’re horribly outmatched.
Colin M. Gray is an Assistant Professor at Purdue University in the Department of Computer Graphics Technology. He is program lead for an undergraduate major and graduate concentration in UX Design. He holds a PhD in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University Bloomington, a MEd in Educational Technology from University of South Carolina, and a MA in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art & Design. He has worked as an art director, contract designer, and trainer, and his involvement in design work informs his research on design activity and how design capability is learned. His research focuses on the ways in which the pedagogy and practice of designers informs the development of design ability, particularly in relation to ethics, design knowledge, and professional identity formation.
- Dr. Colin Gray’s home page: https://colingray.me
- Dark Patterns: https://darkpatterns.uxp2.com
- Dark Patterns (Brignull): https://darkpatterns.org/
- Facebook’s Social Contagion experiment: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/06/30/facebook-only-got-permission-to-do-research-on-users-after-emotion-manipulation-study/