Thomas' Dark Pattern Cheatsheet

On this page, I keep an updated list of research that describes dark patterns. Dark patterns are interface design tricks that navigate people's decision-making by steering, coercing, or deceiving them into actions they would not necessarily engage in if they knew the consequences.

I've used this list for my studies and would like to share it with everyone interested in this topic. Each group of dark patterns is provided the reference to its original source. To stay inline with the original definitions, the provided descriptions are either taken exactly from or worded very closely to their original work and can be found when following the reference links. Where readily available, I also took over visual examples with references. All credit to the amazing work these researchers have put into this effort.

The referred work differs in their applied methods and chosen terminologies. Some refer to dark pattern types, some described strategies, and others again defined techniques. Here, I made an attempt to visually distinguish between two categories: high-level strategies and low-level types (often domain specific). The fewer high-level strategies have only have outlines to aesthetically highlight them.

→ Dark Pattern Groups