Dark patterns: five site techniques to trap Internet users

We present you the 5 techniques that we consider to be the best ones to increase your CTR in your online marketing campaigns. This selection is, of course, subjective and we might have forgotten some of them.

Creating urgency and FOMO

“High demand!” “Only 1 more room available”. Travel sites are full of worrying references suggesting that you will miss the hotel of your dreams and ruin your holidays if you don’t hurry to get out the Credit Card.

Booking even pushes the defect to display out of stock offers. A particularly twisted idea since this information is of no use to you and will stress you out a little more. But of course, that’s what it’s all about.

The trap of the infinite thread

The economic model of some sites (social networks, media, etc.) pushes them to want to keep the Internet user in their premises as long as possible.

How to do this? Offer him new content without interruption. It is the principle of automatic video launch on Netflix (which can be disabled). Or the infinite thread of social networks. Indeed, these tools are convenient. But there is a downside.

Unreadable Terms and Conditions

Passing on small sensitive conditions of use without lying to the Internet user? It couldn’t be easier.

All you have to do is explain all this in a nice paving stone, size 8, without any line spacing or paragraphs. Of course, we avoid putting any heading or illustration that could air the text and make the user want to stay on it. And we place a pretty green “Accept” button to help him quickly escape from this textual hell. It works every time.

The roach motel

“Roach motel” is what they call sites that, like a cockroach trap, let their target in but not out. Other companies do not hesitate to use this type of technique to prevent their users from unsubscribing from a paid service.

It may seem like they are just poorly designed sites. But make no mistake about it. If you have to go through 15 sections and go through 5 confirmation steps to unsubscribe, it’s no coincidence. Online businesses know that, due to lack of time or discouragement, many of us will give up, vowing to come back the next day. Then procrastinate for six months by going back so many times by then.

What if we delete the Refuse button?

Social networks can be blamed for a lot of things, but certainly not for being unimaginative. To encourage us never to refuse to share our personal data, they have become masters of ambiguous wording.

For example, in 2016, when Facebook was trying to get as many people as possible to accept SMS integration, it did not think it was appropriate to ask whether or not they wanted to enable this feature. Instead, the social network sent this very ambiguous pop-up that gave the impression that we had no other options than to press OK.

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