Dark Patterns 2012 Awards: submissions now open!

Thanks to an inspired suggestion by Jeffrey Broer, I’ve decided to do set up Dark Patterns Annual Awards, starting this year. It’ll be fun. The idea is that community members (that’s you) will email in submissions, then once we’ve got a nice selection I’ll set up a page on darkpatterns.org where the public can vote.

The purpose of the awards is to embarrass organisations into stopping the use of Dark Patterns (i.e. manipulative design techniques that trick users into doing things. See darkpatterns.org). I may even have some trophies made up and sent to the winners.

How to submit:

  • Screengrab or photograph the offending product along with the date and source. (Please dont compress the images or draw on them).
  • Write some bullet points describing the nature of the Dark Pattern. Take a look on the Dark Patterns wiki to get an idea of what’s appropriate.
  • Email it to submissions@darkpatterns.org. If you can, publish your submssion on your own blog/flickr/etc. Publicity is good.
  • At some point – once we have enough submissions – we’ve move to a phase of public voting.

If you can’t think of a submission right now, it’d mean a lot if you could promote the awards on twitter, facebook, hacker news, reddit, and so on. With your help, organisations will become genuinely fearful of winning these awards and this will have a positive effect on the web as a whole. Dark Patterns are frustrating, annoying and they’re crappifying the web. Let’s try to stamp them out.