Interdisciplinary Research Group in Socio-technical Cybersecurity
I am Definitely Manipulated, Even When I am Aware of it. It s Ridiculous! — Dark Patterns from the End-User Perspective
Online services pervasively employ manipulative designs (i.e., dark patterns) to influence users to purchase goods and subscriptions, spend more time on-site, or mindlessly accept the harvesting of their personal data. To protect users from the lure of such designs, we asked: are users aware of the presence of dark patterns? If so, are they able to resist them? By surveying 406 individuals, we found that they are generally aware of the influence that manipulative designs can exert on their online behaviour. However, being aware does not equip users with the ability to oppose such influence. We further find that respondents, especially younger ones, often recognise the "darkness" of certain designs, but remain unsure of the actual harm they may suffer. Finally, we discuss a set of interventions (e.g., bright patterns, design frictions, training games, applications to expedite legal enforcement) in the light of our findings.
Kerstin Bongard-Blanchy, Arianna Rossi, Salvador Rivas, Sophie Doublet, Vincent Koenig, Gabriele Lenzini
2021 ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS)
Bongard-Blanchy, Kerstin, Arianna Rossi, S. Rivas, S. Doublet, Vincent Koenig and G. Lenzini. “I am Definitely Manipulated, Even When I am Aware of it. It s Ridiculous! -- Dark Patterns from the End-User Perspective.” (2021). arXiv:2104.12653.
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