Exploring Deceptive Design Patterns pudding.cool

Caroline Sinders, the Pudding:

I wanted to explore the malicious, confusing, and deceitful things that occur after signing up for digital services, as well as how design can nudge us to forget about a free trial or accidentally sign up for things that we didn’t intend to.

Dark patterns are often most egregious with subscriptions and free trials, especially when attempting to cancel, so I focused on those.

I ran an experiment from August 2 to October 4, 2022, signing up for 16 different services and immediately tried to unsubscribe or cancel.

The New York Times is famously hostile, but it seems Vimeo is the newly crowned champion of awful design patterns. It seems to tick every item on a list of what not to do. I am not sure what is going on there — previously mentioned — but it sucks to see a once-likeable video host reduced to the kinds of scummy tactics that seem so commonplace in business- and enterprise-focused companies.

As is typical for a Pudding thing, this article is well-presented thanks to Tynesha Foreman and Matt Daniels. Even if all of this stuff is known to you, I recommend checking it out just for the way it looks and feels.