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Why you Dey Disguise - Issue #18

Consonance Club Newsletter
Consonance Club Newsletter
Hello there!
What’s up na? Shey you’re good?
Last week we talked about the different kinds of graphics design but this week, I’m choosing violenzzz. 😌
Yesss! Because I’m going to do some design discrimination and inequality today by only talking about one type of graphics design: UX design.
I know. I know. 
Why just this one in like a multitude of others? Precious, will you do a newsletter about the other ones?
 No, my dear. 💀
But I can come back to your matter when the Consonance Book of Remembrance opens upon you and yours. Tenks.🙇
I found out about this stuff recently and I think it’s actually very interesting. Just stick with me. I promise you’d enjoy this.
So, (clears throat) students in the Consonance class, the topic we’ll be examining today is UX Dark Patterns.
UX Design
Not even gonna lie, the first time I came across this topic, what came into my head was dark holes 😂 but before we even go there, do you remember what UX design is? I gazz ask because una no too sabi book again.🤧
UX design is that aspect of design that is concerned with the experience a user has with an app or a website.
It majorly focuses on making websites or apps easy to understand and navigate for users.  
Now that we have finished with our first lesson in the syllabus, let’s go into explaining what this thing really is.
Dark Patterns
Dark patterns are basically UX interactions designed to make users take certain decisions on a web page or app by force, by fire or by deception.
Basically sha, dark patterns exploit human psychology to do its thing.
Think of it as trying to influence users to do something that’s not necessarily their free choice or in their best interest.
You can be sure that it will definitely benefit the owner of the website or the app sha.
 It could be tricking you into buying something, providing the information you don’t want to provide etc.
Don’t worry, I’m going to share examples so you understand what I’m saying.
I’m pretty sure that as we go through these examples, you’ll be shaking your head like agama lizard🦎 and be like “Ohhhhh. Na this thing be this. ehn ehnn.”🤯
You’ll most likely relate to most if not all of it.
Example of Dark Patterns
1. You Must Buy By Fire By Force
This one is actually called forced continuity.
It exists on the basis of
‘You chop five of my carrot in the name of tasting, you come talk say you no dey buy. You don buy this market o”
This is the one where a website offers you a free trial version of their product but as a caveat, you have to put in your card details, housing information etc.
That on its own might not necessarily be a bad thing, but it gets really bad when they don’t send you a reminder that the free trial will soon end or they intentionally make it hard to cancel it or they don’t provide a cancel subscription button.
Or what about the sites that you manage to cancel the subscription but e no go cancel and dem just dey comot your money?! That thing is 419 in tech bro hoodie. Oloun.😒
2. Roach Motel.
Do you know how hard it is to kill flying cockroaches? That’s where they probably got the inspiration for this one.
The roach motel approach makes it easy to subscribe to something but makes you provide the belly of an alligator, the left testicle of an albino elephant, the heart of a python and a cancerous cell in the intestines of a jellyfish before you can get out of it.🌚
Many telecommunication companies are sitting at this table. 
3. Pop Up Disturbances
So oftentimes if you’re using the free version of an app, you already know you’ll get disturbed with ads. 
It’s the life of a star and you already accept it, so, it really isn’t that much of a problem except for when they turn their ads to fried yam supremacy: the battle of the chokes.🤺
Quick example, if you use a Samsung device and you’re using a Samsung Max VPN, you will discover that whether or not you have Opera Mini on your phone, you get a pop up that says Opera Mini is giving you free 50mb of data to use on your phone.
The only available call to action button is ‘OK’. There’s no cancel button. 
That’s a dark pattern and they should actually swear for Opera Mini and Samsung.
In fact, another one is this: if you use an Infinix device and you use follow come launcher, you will see some apps that you didn’t download on your phone screen. 
They’re usually games and some rubbish stuff like that. Na bad UX because you can’t clear those things from your screen.
4. Motivational Barawo.
This one I’m sure you’ve seen before. 
They will tell you they have a free book or a free article to show you, but you gazz drop your email address, compulsorily join their newsletter, sometimes even give them your left intestine because of the ordinary article. On top wetin na?
It can also manifest like this:  you’re already reading the article o, they will drop a passive-aggressive request for you to subscribe to something..but again, there’s no cancel button and you cannot continue reading your article without clicking on that thing. 
These guys can then bombard you with emails selling their services or they can even sell your information to advertisers. Again, motivational barawo.
5. Friend Spam
Festoffost, the name of this one is very, very suspicious. Just say it out loud. 🌚
Anyway, this is the one where you sign up on a social media platform and they ask for permission to see some of your contacts blablabla under the guise that they want to use it to help you find your friends. 
What now happens additionally to that, is that they will send messages, posing as you, to disturb your friends to come and join their platform.
6. The Travel Diaries of the Israelites in the Wilderness
The thing about this one is that you’d often find it on websites that provide music and movie downloads illegally or all these low budget blog sites. 
I’m talking about those websites where you will click on one button and it will redirect you to 1xbet or Merrybet or sometimes a pornography site or many other options irrelevant to what you clicked on.
6. Bros, your money has fallen on the ground.
You know how in secondary school, your idiot classmates will say, your #20 has dropped to the floor, so that they can give you a knock on the head? Na the same tactic.
This one is actually called Misdirection. 
They intentionally try to distract you with something, so that you don’t notice a particular thing. 
For example, when you want to sign up on some websites, you will find that there’s a large call to action button, there’s now a tiny box that literally states that you agree to provide all your information, subscribe to their newsletter, feed their dog and babysit their bicycles. 
The crazy thing? It comes pre-ticked, if you are not sharp, you will just click on sign up and not unclick stuff like that.
Obviously, there are way more dark patterns than these and some of these are even my coinages (as per star girl wey I be na💫), but you can read more about it here.
What makes it interesting for me though are questions like this:
1. Who is to blame for all this rubbish? An overzealous sales marketing team or a UI/UX designer that wouldn’t stick to the ethics of the profession
2. The intersection of data privacy laws and dark patterns. I mean, a dark pattern lawsuit cost LinkedIn $13million in 2014.
Interesting stuff if you ask me.
Share your opinion with me on Twitter and Instagram!
Yours in Maintaining Focus,
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