When Does Manipulation
Turn a Design ‘Dark’?
Contributor: Colin M. Gray and Shruthi Sai Chivukula
→ Curator/Editor: Anne Spaa
→ Genre: Dark patterns, asshole design, design ethics
Websites such as this one, shared on the “asshole design” subreddit, use fake errors or
obstructionist language to block access to content or user choice, drawing on dark pattern
strategies such as obstruction and forced action [ 1].
1. Gray, C.M., Kou, Y., Battles, B., Hoggatt, J., and Toombs, A.L. The dark (patterns) side of UX design.
Proc. of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM Press, New York, 2018,
Paper No. 534; https://doi.org/10.1145/3173574.3174108
DOI: 10.1145/3375016 © 2020 ACM 1072-5520/20/01 $15.00