What makes a dark pattern... dark? design attributes, normative considerations, and measurement methods

Arunesh Mathur, Jonathan Mayer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

There is a rapidly growing literature on dark patterns, user interface designs-typically related to shopping or privacy-that researchers deem problematic. Recentwork has been predominantly descriptive, documenting and categorizing objectionable user interfaces. These contributions have been invaluable in highlighting specific designs for researchers and policymakers. But the current literature lacks a conceptual foundation: What makes a user interface a dark pattern? Why are certain designs problematic for users or society? We review recent work on dark patterns and demonstrate that the literature does not reflect a singular concern or consistent definition, but rather, a set of thematically related considerations. Drawing from scholarship in psychology, economics, ethics, philosophy, and law, we articulate a set of normative perspectives for analyzing dark patterns and their effects on individuals and society. We then show how future research on dark patterns can go beyond subjective criticism of user interface designs and apply empirical methods grounded in normative perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationMaking Waves, Combining Strengths
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380966
DOIs
StatePublished - May 6 2021
Event2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI 2021 - Virtual, Online, Japan
Duration: May 8 2021May 13 2021

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI 2021
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityVirtual, Online
Period5/8/215/13/21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'What makes a dark pattern... dark? design attributes, normative considerations, and measurement methods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this