Washington Apple Pi

A Community of Apple iPad, iPhone and Mac Users

August 2021

Dark Patterns: What are they? How do they work? And what can we do about them?

August 28, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm.

Note: this will be a virtual meeting via Zoom.

A decade since user design researcher Harry Brignull coined the term "dark patterns," it's become impossible to take three steps online without encountering this phenomenon. From unavoidable cookies that track your every move to pop-ups that try to extract more data from you, being online today means being pushed, prodded and annoyed into giving up more of our money and our data.

Ms. Ivanova will explore the most commonly used methods that websites and apps use to cajole users into buying that product, signing up for that email list or agreeing to being tracked. Colors and fonts, word choice, layouts and notifications are all opportunities for designers to make a choice more or less straightforward. Dark patterns have been phenomenally successful for businesses, but they've also drawn ire from consumer advocates. Now federal regulators are starting to take notice and mulling over the question of how to crack down on these deceptive patterns.

Irina Ivanova is a reporter for CBS MoneyWatch, where she writes stories and produces videos about technology, privacy, labor and the environment (and how those areas intersect.) She worked for HuffPost back when it was The Huffington Post; Crain's New York Business, City Limits and an array of alt-weekly papers (some of which, amazingly, are still in circulation). A Ukrainian by way of Australia, she speaks five languages and is trying (in her nonexistent spare time) to pick up a sixth.

Irina Ivanova discusses Dark Patterns and why they should concern you

Click on the image for a (much, much) larger view.

The Zoom meeting invitation will be posted on the Pi's conferencing system, the TCS, and sent out to members via Email. Please check your Zoom profile online to be sure it contains your full name, because for security reasons, we can't let anyone in without their full name.

Pro tip: if you use the Zoom app (instead of a web browser), check in advance that you have version 5.7.5 or better.

We'll start with a Q&A, so please send us any questions for us to queue up for the panel.

We will try to stream the meeting through the Pi website: https://www.wap.org/live/

Please remember to use the Attendance Check-in link: https://wap.org/attend