Dark Patterns

How online organisations deceive users with design features

This brick focuses on Dark Patterns, which are types of user interfaces that trick users into sharing more data, or spending more money, than they intend to.

Creators writing

This educational unit contains:

  • Ad hoc slides
  • Ideas for possible teaching and assessment approaches
  • To demonstrate a clear understanding of the concepts and models associated with dark patterns
  • To critically assess and evaluate computer interfaces for potential dark patterns
  • To review and assess relevant literature, incorporating legislation, policy, directives, academic journals and industry standards
  • To relate concepts associated with ethics to the development and evaluation of dark patterns
  • To select and evaluate models of UX and psychological model that can be used to explain the effectiveness of dark patterns
  • To compare and contrast how different types of dark patterns use different psychological factors (Trust, Ignorance, Fear, Greed, Moral duty, Urgency, Panic, Anger) to succeed
  • Suitable for teaching in Computer Science and Other courses
  • Disciplines: Computer Science, Design, UIX

Suggested teaching approaches

Suggested assessment approaches


Teacher teaching

Lecture slides

Further reading

Further reading

Other resources

Evaluate your Teaching

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Dark Patterns

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