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Reshape Digital #17: Dark Pattern vs. Light Pattern
Today on Reshape Digital we dive deep into Dark Patterns - deceptive UX techniques used by online businesses to trick users into doing things that they did not intend on doing. You’ll learn exactly what dark patterns are, some examples of dark patterns (from auto-recurring purchases to meaningless countdown clocks), and what exactly the difference is between a light pattern and a dark pattern: it’s not as clear as you’d think.

A dark pattern is  defined as "a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills." In today's episode of Reshape Digital, we discuss dark patterns and light patterns. What are dark patterns? How are they used? How common are they? We discuss a number of examples of dark patterns, and what people are doing to combat them. One such way is a light pattern.

A light pattern is the opposite of a dark pattern in every way. Where dark patterns are subtle, deceptive and often malicious, light patterns are obvious, transparent and well-intentioned. Light patterns are designed to put the power back in the user’s hands, operating under the assumption that the user knows what is best for them and can make their own purchase decisions without coercion.

Finally, we highlight the grey area between dark patterns and light patterns. Many dark patterns are unintentional or not-quite-deceptive. The grey area creates a unique problem for people attempting to combat dark patterns, which means that light patterns are even more important. Let the users decide. We believe in a democratic internet, which means that the power should be in your hands.

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