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We all know designers select colors, fonts and layouts to drive users to take certain actions. But there are also less-than-honest tactics in user interface design that some websites employ to trick people.

These tactics are referred to as “dark patterns.”

Dark patterns differ from bad UI/UX design. Bad user interface or user experience design happens as a result of inexperience, lack of sophistication or laziness. Dark patterns, on the other hand, are implemented with specific ill-intent in mind.

Alyssa Vance recently blogged about the Dark Patterns of the Boston Globe. She outlines how moving common navigational elements, such as a close button, or using colors and contrast to make elements less visible and easily identified forces users to believe they must take a certain action to proceed.

Read more about Alyssa’s evaluation of the Boston Globe’s design and how she believes it utilizes deceptive tactics to increase subscribers.

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