The Devil’s UX Dictionary: An A-Z of Unethically Exasperating Design

Image from Adobe Stock

Have you ever been annoyed by the number of times you’ve had to click ‘Cancel’ to banish an unwanted subscription then discovered, much to your further exasperation when the cash disappears again a month later, that it was actually the cancellation you had cancelled?

How about that passive, automatic scrolling you indulge in with your social media accounts? Ever wondered why you do that so much when you pick up your phone?

What about those mysterious extras that ended up in your shopping cart even though you definitely didn’t put them there?

Or why did you almost end up subscribing to fifteen bottles of wine a month after buying a train ticket?

If you’re a consumer who ever found yourself wondering about these things, or if you’re a designer who wants to avoid falling into unethical practices, then read on.

The Dictionary

This catalogue is an ongoing commentary on the pernicious practices that are used to hoodwink, hijack, deceive, dupe, trick, swindle and fool users rather than just give them what they actually wanted. From minor misdeeds to major maleficence, this diabolical dictionary of dark design will attempt to expose and educate customers and designers alike about the infernal iterations that manipulate, cajole and coerce people into patterns of behaviour that are rarely in their best interests.

Select a subject to enter The Devil’s UX Dictionary

A

Addictiveness

B

Bait and Switch

C

Confirmshaming

D

Doomscrolling

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

UX Designer, writer and occasional photographer & music transcriber. Also a huge fan of dogs, satire, non-dualism, mythology and nature