So this is a short one about dark patterns.
For those who do not know, or are too lazy to check the previous link, a dark pattern is a pattern to deceive users.
Dark patterns should not be confused with anti-patterns. In the latter case, they are design patterns that are simply poorly made, generating a bad user experience.
Rather, dark patterns are specifically created to get the user to do something that she doesn’t want (and probably shouldn’t) do. Obviously, these patterns are for the benefit of those who design them.
How to win the “King of Dark Patterns” award
In this case that I am going to tell you, the dark pattern arises from the spam of a company that asks for a link for them.
Usually, they do not offer anything in return.
In this case, they offer a link in a newsletter, which is something. They only tell you “my content is so amazing I’m sure you’re desperate to include it in your site” or a variation of that.
As we can see in the image, this is a list, it is not even a real email from a person, it is a software that searches blogs and article sites, connects the emails (in case it finds them) and does an automatic outreach, like in this case.
This type of software is very common in the SEO environment and it is not something that surprises me. Lately we are receiving many emails (at least one per day) precisely because there are promotions due to the competition between these software. Honestly, the normal thing we do is ignore and delete them.
I continue: Being a list, they are required to have an unsubscribe link (which they have, as we can see in the image above)
So, since I have no interest in that company or what it offers in exchange for what it asks for, it decides to unsubscribe.
And get ready, because this is something never seen.
Proper Spam and Proper Dark Patterns
When we click on the link in the email, this is what we see: a screen that, instead of allowing me to unsubscribe, asks me to connect with my Google account to a dashboard that I do not have. The “service” is called “Yet Another Mail Merge” and this is what it offers: a dark pattern, just to start your experience.
Worse yet: the email was sent to a dorve.com domain account, not a personal Gmail email account.
As we can see, the whole process shows a lack of professionalism bordering on mockery. As minimum.
Believing that someone in your same industry (IT) can fall into such a crude trap is even disrespectful. Even though obviously dark-patterns are always disrespectful (after all, it is about deceiving the user), in this case it is almost delusional: they try to deceive someone who is dedicated to recognizing said deceptions!
Even funnier: they say they’re specialists in AI (Artificial Intelligence). Maybe is time they try with just a little bit of common sense?
Anyway, these Proper folks really should get proper professionals (ta-chssssk!!!), or software that works.
But its credibility, at least for us, has been in tatters.
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