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"Dark patterns" website design

This is a very empowering website, and I guarantee you'll never look at websites the same way after reading it:

A Dark Pattern is a type of user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.

Normally when you think of “bad design”, you think of the creator as being sloppy or lazy but with no ill intent. This type of bad design is known as a “UI anti-pattern” Dark Patterns are different – they are not mistakes, they are carefully crafted with a solid understanding of human psychology, and they do not have the user’s interests in mind.

Here's an example:

Forced Disclosure
In return for a free or low-cost action, the site requires the user to disclose extensive personal information – unnecessary to the transaction in-hand.

I'd put the Obama campaign's tendency to demand your email address as the price for interacting with them into this category. (I wish I had the time to analyze the entire Obama campaign website for Dark Patterns; I bet there are many.) And one can only wonder how many Dark Patterns will be incorporated into ObamaCare's meat markets health care exchanges, which will be (AFAIK) exclusively online.

NOTE Here's a diagram of the complete architecture. Hat tip Another Word For It.

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