Reflections on UX and thoughts about Dark Patterns

The user experience, also known as UX, is how the user feels about the application or website. The information architecture is how the website is organized, and the User Interface design is how the user and the application respond to each other. The UX process can be used to create an honest interface or a more devious one in which the user may agree to something they did not intend to because they were tricked.

After reading about dark patterns and started learning what they were I started thinking about my own experiences with some companies that have used them. In general, interacting with websites that employ dark patterns has left me in a range from annoyed to losing my business, but has never increased my favorability towards the company. I interacted with one business who employed dark patterns whose representatives claimed since other businesses operate in a similar manner there was nothing wrong with what they were doing. In short, even though it’s quite inconvenient for me to transfer to a different company for that particular service the combination of the dark pattern of the website and the follow-up customer service is motivation enough to make a switch to pretty much any other company even if they cost more or the product isn’t as good.

For me, I think the user flow is one of the most interesting parts of the UX process. Who is visiting your site? Why are they there? How is the information going to be arranged and presented to help them achieve their goals? What are the business goals for their users? If your site cannot serve the user goals as well as the business, what should be changed so it does?

Creating a sitemap is one of the most surprising parts. I did not realize how large a small site needs to be, and as I went how I needed to add more pages and parts. I will be sketching it out on paper and working out the details before I start working on Sketch.