The nuisance of dark patterns

19 Oct 2023

My phone like for many has become unusable because of the nuisance of unsolicited calls, SMS, and WhatsApp messages I didn’t opt-in for. I waste at least 15 minutes a day marking emails as spam because, in many cases, the unsubscribe option is hidden. Then, there are the deceptive UI/UX patterns, which make things even worse. But there seems to be hope around the corner.

The Department of Consumer Affairs recently issued draft guidelines for the prevention and regulation of dark patterns. The guidelines, if implemented, will go a long way in reducing this nuisance. But the regulations can also have a large impact on public and private businesses across D2C businesses, e-commerce, and financial services, including new-age fintechs and banks.

Dark patterns are deceptive practices used to deceive consumers into doing something they don’t want. We all would’ve encountered dark patterns like: Messages that create false urgency Use of language that evokes shame, guilt, and other strong emotions “Basket sneaking” or items that appear in your cart without you adding them. Hidden or misleading pricing

This is a welcome move but could potentially have a material impact on revenues for many businesses. K (Kailash) and K (Kailash) and Ashish Aggarwal (Nasscom) discuss why dark patterns persist, regulations, and more with Bhuvan. Watch the full conversation here..

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