About us

Our team

Dr. Harry Brignull
Dr. Harry Brignull
Founder of the Deceptive Patterns Initiative & Head of Innovation at Smart Pension

Harry is a distinguished user experience (UX) director, passionately committed to exposing deceptive design practices. In his spare time, Harry works as an expert witness in lawsuits that involve deceptive patterns.

Dr. Mark Leiser
Dr. Mark Leiser
Professor in Digital, Internet, and Platform Regulation, Transnational Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, VU-Amsterdam

A specialist in digital, Internet, and platform regulation, Dr Mark Leiser is a renowned authority on the legal ramifications of deceptive design, with a prolific body of work on applying laws and regulations to tackle practices. More here.

Dr. Cristiana Santos
Dr. Cristiana Santos
Assistant Professor in Privacy and Data Protection Law, Utrecht University School of Law

In addition to her work as a professor at Utrecht University, Dr. Santos is an expert of the Data Protection Unit, Council of Europe; expert for the implementation of the EDPB's Support Pool of Experts; and expert of the Digital Persuasion or Manipulation Expert Group.

Kosha Doshi
Kosha Doshi
Law Student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune, India.

With a strong belief in the importance of user rights, Kosha is committed to learning about and promoting ethical design practices. Through her studies, she strives to better understand the legal frameworks that govern digital experiences, ensuring that her work contributes to a fairer and more transparent digital landscape.

Our mission


This website (formerly darkpatterns.org) was started in 2010, born out of Harry Brignull's passion for addressing the growing issue of deceptive design practices in the digital world. Recognising the negative impact these manipulative patterns had on users, Harry was inspired to start a campaign that would expose these unethical practices, educate the public, and foster a more transparent digital landscape.


This site has played a pivotal role in shaping the conversation around ethical design practices. Its concepts and terminology have been adopted in new laws and regulations around the world, including the EU Digital Services Act (DSA), Digital Markets Act (DMA), California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) and many others. Regulators have also taken a keen interest and it is becoming an increasingly common topic in class action lawsuits.


The addition of Mark Leiser, Cristina Santos and Kosha Doshi to the team has enabled us to change this website’s vision into something bigger and more powerful - tying together deceptive patterns with the laws that they break and the enforcement actions that have resulted from their use. The intention is to arm employees with indisputable facts about deceptive patterns. Rather than just giving employees the means to point out deceptive patterns to their employers, this website will enable them to explain the specific laws broken and to present the fines that have resulted when other companies have done the same.

Media coverage

Working on this campaign, Harry Brignull has been interviewed or quoted by numerous news organisations including the BBC, CBC, ABC, CNN, New York Times, Vox, Fast Company, Consumer Reports, Marketplace and many others. View the articles, podcasts and video clips in the Reading List area of this site.


This website was previously called darkpatterns.org and the category of deceptive design practice was referred to as “dark patterns”. Under advice from Kaushalya Gupta and the Tech Policy Design Lab of the World Wide Web Foundation, the name was changed to deceptive.design and the term was changed to “deceptive patterns”. The change reflects a commitment to avoiding language that might inadvertently carry negative associations or reinforce harmful stereotypes.