swombat.com

daily articles for founders

Running a startup in the UK (or with a UK subsidiary)? Get in touch with my company, GrantTree. We help with government funding.
Poor use of dark patterns...  

As I mentioned before:

Perhaps the smart move is not to discard dark patterns entirely, but to become more savvy at knowing which ones work for your industry, and how to implement them in a way that won't damage your brand with the majority of your users.

In that context, it is worth pointing out this example of a gross misuse of a dark pattern. When your business name is "Honestly" and you sell trust (a professional peer review site lives or dies by its reputation), abusing the "bait and switch" pattern is really a bad idea. Compounding that by basically sending spam is just disastrous.

Phil Freo reports:

So they sent me an email saying "Someone created a profile for you on Honestly.com" and there's nothing there — what a bait and switch. Sure, you can debate the semantics of someone "creating a (blank) profile" vs. someone "leaving a review", but they are clearly taking advantage of both me and whichever of my Facebook or LinkedIn's friends that "created a profile" for me (a.k.a., probably just imported their contacts with no intention of all of them getting a deceptive email).

More from the library:
An easy way to increase startup success rates
Silence
Hardware startups and quality