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In this day and age, website functionality is bigger and better than ever. Sites and brands alike have grasped the importance of UX and understand the ability it has to transform their business. However, it seems not all brands are doing it the right way.
A new report released by ecommerce design specialists Xigen has revealed that UK consumers feel they are being tricked by brands using what are considered dark UX patterns. For example, have you ever found yourself subscribed to a newsletter you never actually subscribed to? Did you then have to jump through endless hoops in a bid to unsubscribe? This is just one example of a dark pattern, referred to as the ‘Roach Motel’ tactic.
Dark patterns such as these have varying impacts on a brand’s reputation as well as customer retention. The report reveals that 47% of people who have experienced issues when attempting to unsubscribe from a brand’s online service said that they would never deal with that particular brand again. Further to that, a huge 90% of people in the UK believe that it should actually be made illegal for brands to purposely make it difficult to unsubscribe to online services.
It is clear that by implementing dark patterns, brands are treading on particularly uncertain ground, as the result of doing so could have a detrimental impact.
The digital world is awash with dark patterns and using these tactics has been common practice for a long time, for many brands. These misleading practices were not born online however, as they have been used in the world of sales for years before the internet even existed.
Brands are employing these tactics as they are a sure-fire way for them to reach targets and hit KPIs. It gives them the upper hand by enabling them to lure their customers into taking specific actions on their site.
In short, money is the answer here. Brands will put these dark patterns in place to ensure they are converting sales and keeping customers exactly where they want them.
There are a number of dark patterns that consumers will come across on a daily basis such as trick questions, price comparison prevention and disguised ads, but the report revealed which tactics consumers found the most infuriating.
45% of people said that an easy user experience is the most important aspect when it comes to their user journey. Therefore it is clear that consumers are looking for honesty and simplicity when it comes to their online experiences.
Much like brands themselves, consumers tend to have one goal – to get on a site, find what they want, buy it and leave. If their time on the site is positive, there’s a far better chance they’ll return over and over again.
User experience (UX) is so important for brands so it makes sense for them to always be improving and reviewing which tactics are working and those that aren’t.
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