Marketers are constantly on the lookout for ways to get you to click that "buy" button. Who among us has not been annoyed by that "10 people are looking at this right now" alert while browsing? Or the little timer on your basket that, once run out, will empty your basket?
Turns out these are just some of the tricks used by marketers to get users to buy. What's worse, it seems that the most recommended websites are more likely to be using these techniques, called "dark patterns" by the researchers that unveiled them and that over 10% of websites in general use such patterns.
It looks like it is becoming harder and harder for consumers to make well-informed decisions. You have been warned, so stay aware and no, you don't need to book that specific room that "15 people are looking at" for your holiday.
Below are the patterns in question.
Sneaking: Attempting to misrepresent user actions, or delay information that if made available to users, they would likely object to. Urgency: Imposing a deadline on a sale or deal, thereby accelerating user decision-making and purchases. Misdirection: Using visuals, language, or emotion to steer users toward or away from making a particular choice. Social proof: Influencing users' behaviour by describing the experiences and behaviour of other users. Scarcity: Signalling that a product is likely to become unavailable, thereby increasing its desirability to users. Obstruction: Making it easy for the user to get into one situation but hard to get out of it. Forced action: Forcing the user to do something tangential in order to complete their task.