A decade since user design researcher Harry Brignull coined the term "dark patterns," it's become impossible to take three steps online without encountering this phenomenon. From unavoidable cookies that track your every move to pop-ups that try to extract more data from you, being online today means being pushed, prodded and annoyed into giving up more of our money and our data.
Ms. Ivanova will explore the most commonly used methods that websites and apps use to cajole users into buying that product, signing up for that email list or agreeing to being tracked. Colors and fonts, word choice, layouts and notifications are all opportunities for designers to make a choice more or less straightforward. Dark patterns have been phenomenally successful for businesses, but they've also drawn ire from consumer advocates. Now federal regulators are starting to take notice and mulling over the question of how to crack down on these deceptive patterns.
Irina Ivanova is a reporter for CBS MoneyWatch, where she writes stories and produces videos about technology, privacy, labor and the environment (and how those areas intersect.) She worked for HuffPost back when it was The Huffington Post; Crain's New York Business, City Limits and an array of alt-weekly papers (some of which, amazingly, are still in circulation). A Ukrainian by way of Australia, she speaks five languages and is trying (in her nonexistent spare time) to pick up a sixth.
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