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Deceptive patterns – exposing the tricks tech companies use to control you

By Dr. Harry Brignull

Print edition available via Amazon, digital edition available for direct download (includes .pdf, .mobi and .epub formats).

The book "Deceptive Patterns" by Harry Brignull, on a coffee table.

Table of contents

This is subject to change, as the manuscript is currently being edited.

1. Diving into the murky world of deception: an introduction
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  • A primer on design industry terminology
  • The rise of deceptive patterns
  • From homo economicus to homo manipulable
2. The adversarial mindset: unravelling the principles behind deceptive patterns
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  • Exploitation of vulnerabilities in perception
  • Exploitation of vulnerabilities in comprehension
  • Exploitation of vulnerabilities in decision-making
  • Resource depletion and pressure
  • Forcing and blocking
  • Exploitation of emotional vulnerabilities
  • Exploitation of addiction
3. Taxonomies of trickery: dissecting the various types of deceptive pattern
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  • Introducing the Mathur et al. taxonomy of dark patterns
  • Sneaking
  • Urgency
  • Misdirection
  • Social proof
  • Scarcity
  • Obstruction
  • Forced action
  • Other types
4. Ending the deceptive era: how can we stamp it out?
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  • Deceptive patterns are more prevalent now than ever before
  • We’ve tried things that haven’t worked
  • Why regulation is the answer
5. The road ahead: envisioning a fairer future
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  • Changes ahead in the United States
  • Changes ahead in the European Union
  • Persuasion profiling and second generation deceptive patterns
  • The risk of a cyberpunk future
6. Concluding thoughts in the struggle for honest design
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  • Navigating the slippery slope

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