Clusters of Dark Patterns Across Popular Websites in New Zealand
“Dark patterns” are interface design techniques that aim to trick or mislead Internet users. Most dark-patterns research has been undertaken in the United States and Europe and by user experience or human computer interaction researchers. In this study, we adopt a media and communication studies and science and technology studies approach to investigate where dark patterns “cluster” in online environments. A walkthrough of the top 100 New Zealand websites leads us to the following findings: (1) dark patterns cluster around financial transactions; (2) the most common types of dark patterns constitute a form of interface interference; and (3) dark patterns are often deployed as mechanisms to drive revenue, facilitate customer surveillance, and reduce business operations costs, and appear to be largely imported from overseas markets.