Dear so-called “UX” designers, the opposite of “yes” isn’t “not now”, it’s “no.”

@aral also, dear "growth" teams. At this point, any such UX is obviously intentional. They know what they're doing... regulators should really step in.

@michel_slm @aral Or users should step out. It's frustrating to me that people insist on using this garbage. It's like the prisoner's dilemma except almost everyone always defects.

@freakazoid @aral yeah. I keep most of those apps on my work phone. If someone wants to message me on one such platforms on weekends, then tough, I might get to you when I have access to a desktop web browser

@antanicus @michel_slm Indeed :) (check out the hash tag on the original) ;)

@michel_slm @aral regulators have already done lots of stepping in. the "we use cookies, click accept" pop-up is a result of regulation. capitalists will always find loopholes because exploiting is what they do.

@crashglasshouses @aral ugh, yeah, don't get me started on how intentionally bad some sites are at doing cookie opt-outs. The ones that make you individually deselect everything...

@aral If I bump into this I do my best to remove whatever software is doing that right there. It is so annoying and downright disrespectful.

@aral that's seldomly a UX decision and more of a requirement by Product Managers. UX people would most likely rip out all the dark pattern bullshit, if they could.

@dictvm “User” experience design is the name given by Big Tech to the art of farming people without spooking them (too much).

Designers who don’t want to perpetuate deceptive design (aka manipulation) can look to work elsewhere. Thankfully, Big Tech and toxic Silicon Valley people farms are not the only employers around. (And, again thankfully, the only decision highly-skilled folks in our field are faced with isn’t whether to work for a six figure salary and stock options or starve.)

@aral @dictvm I'm totally on board with you when it comes to calling out dark patterns, but I think you're carrying it too far by trying to smear the whole “user experience” field. There are quite a lot of UX people who actually care about the users and not just for their money.

@scy @dictvm Not smearing anything. “User Experience Design” is a very specific type of design that was born out of Big Tech. The hint is in the othering: “user” and in its ethnographic methods (user research, use of cognitive psychology to manipulate, etc.)

If you want to understand where I’m coming from, here’s the foreword I wrote for Trine Falbe’s White Hat UX book:

(Apologies for the PDF, I should really make a blog post out of it when I get a moment.)

@scy @dictvm Not sure it’s any better (definitely not accessible) but you can also read it from an image with proper typesetting:

@aral @scy @dictvm Big Tech might use UX design in this way, but it's 100% not the core tennet of the discipline. There are lots of designers our there that value accessibility, freedom and informed choice - which they have judged improves the "user experience". This includes lots of products that have nothing to do with "people farming": their designers just want the people who use their product not feel miserable whilst doing so. Is that really so wrong?

@aral This is one of my beefs with Birdsite. They have a "show this less often" button instead of "never fucking show me this shit again".

@aral the opposite of "accept" is "manage my choices" which takes you to a login form, which, upon entering your account credentials, asks you for a phone number to set up two-factor-authentication.

@aral How to tell you are using abusive software.

@aral This is a concept called "consent". It is what Microsoft has forsaken.

@aral Also the opposite of "yes" is not "review my settings".

@aral oh my sweet summer child 🙃

Meanwhile at TCL:

Forced Sign In on a freakin TV without a SKIP option at all. Until you enter a cheat code:

> To bypass this option perform the following from the TCL remote:

> Press the Up arrow button 5 times.

> Press the Down arrow button 5 times

> The skip option should appear.

And they call it an OPTION to create an account:


I got this from a review and the screenshots speak for themselves. Guess what TV is out 😠

@bekopharm @aral

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A.

@aral @valere @civicDetroitDan @robby

If you agree please help by sending an email to

@aral I’m still slightly stressed this morning that my eBay app insisted I give feedback, rather than say “not now” I had to say yes or no… so I gave a detailed report of how much of a toxic usability pattern it was to force me to have to give a usability report.

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