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You might be subject to manipulation in strange ways on the internet.

Website dark patterns are manipulative design techniques that are used to trick visitors into taking actions they wouldn’t otherwise take, such as signing up for a subscription or buying a product. They can be used to increase conversions and boost sales, but they can also damage a business’s reputation and lead to mistrust among customers.

As a small business owner, it’s important to be aware of these manipulative techniques and avoid using them on your website. Here are a few examples of common dark patterns:

  1. Misleading buttons: This is when a button that looks like it will cancel a subscription or unsubscribe from a mailing list actually confirms the subscription or signs the visitor up for more emails.
  2. Hidden fees: This is when additional charges, such as shipping and handling fees, are not clearly disclosed until the visitor is about to complete their purchase.
  3. Bait and switch: This is when a website advertises a low price or limited-time offer to attract visitors, but then switches to a higher price or longer commitment once the visitor is ready to buy.
  4. Forced action: This is when a website blocks a visitor’s access to content or functionality until they complete a certain action, such as filling out a survey or providing personal information.

By avoiding these dark patterns, you can build trust with your customers and create a positive image for your business. Instead, focus on providing clear and accurate information, making it easy for customers to understand your products and services, and giving them the freedom to make informed decisions.

Additionally, be aware that using these dark patterns can also lead to legal consequences, so it’s important to ensure that your website is compliant with laws and regulations.

In conclusion, As a small business owner, it is crucial to be aware of website dark patterns and avoid using them on your website. By providing clear and accurate information and giving customers the freedom to make informed decisions, you can build trust with your customers and create a positive image for your business.

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