Author: Naushad

  • PayTM and the dark pattern in Postpaid

    Usage of dark patterns by payments app PayTM as documented by The Ken Web. Details in twitter thread below.

    As the Data Protection bills come to light, Dark Patterns must also be banned in India.

  • TikTok was a canteen; Instagram is a café

    How the ban of TikTok and launch of Instagram Reels in India with restrictions and biases lead to exclusion of tier 3 and tier 4 city users mostly lower castes.

    Read more at the link

    https://restofworld.org/2021/instagram-and-class-in-india/

  • Portfolios are part time jobs

    Image of Calendar reminder about work

    Exclusion
    Excludes people with less time

    Bias

    NDA

    Abstraction

    Companies : Show Me your Portfolio
    Also Companies: Here is your NDA.

  • Amazon App splash screen dark pattern

    Amazon App Launch page

    So I checked the Amazon app after a few months. Just for reference, Amazon App Logo changed from this to this.

    At first I was looking for the old Amazon logo by memory, after finding no results, i realized, the logo has changed.

    Amazon App Logo Icon Changes

    What got me irrirated was the splash screen was now full lenght screen. With no way out for the user.

    Look at the full screen below

    Amazon App Splash Screen no exit routes

    Turns out they’ve force you to choose a Prime plan. There is no way to exit the flow. Youur only option is to close and restart the app.

    Now imagine users who don’t know restart is an exit route.

    Implications

    • The Gen X userbase in India would be forced to add a card.
    • The subscription would continue and they would get a shock.

    This is what happens when unethical and immoral business requirements enforce a user experience against the user needs/wants.

    How to get rid of this

    Businesses with the technology and monopoly would always have control and dicatate what their users can and can not get. In my understanding regulation is the only way to tackle this. I am not sure if such dark patterns are covered in the regulations like this California ban on dark patterns. If not, it should. Such regulations are a good starting point.

    Update

    So i checked the amazon app again yesterday and was pleasantly surprised that they have updated the splash screen to make it more explicit and made the options to continue without forcing to signup for prime.

    Apart from the actions, we can see clear description in text on what the user can expect.

    Updated Amazon App Splash Screen with Clear actions and descriptions.

    #darkpatterns

  • On using flags to represent languages

    Recently, i came across this new website of RockyLinux which is a successor of CentOS as CentOS was killed by RedHat and people wanted a similar operating system that they could rely on.

    One of the former founders of CentOS took on the task of creating the variant of CentOS that people would make together and want.

    They also setup a site rockylinux.org to communicate the projects vision and clarity. Being a global community project, it was obvious to have make the website multilingual. A contributor in the Github repo made a contribution to show the multiple languages by referring to the flags.

    While all this sounds great, another contributor pointed out that using flags for represent languages is not good and in can be offensive as well. He also posted a link to http://www.flagsarenotlanguages.com/blog/why-flags-do-not-represent-language/.

    Flags are not languages is a website by James Offer a UX Designer who has worked extensively on multilingual software. That’s where he shares the learning’s about designing multi-lingual experiences.

    Throughout my design career i never had this consideration that representing languages by flags is not just incorrect but also could be offensive.

    Some of the important reasons are that nations do not equal to languages.

    1. People residing in another country could know other languages that they prefer over other language.
    2. A country may have more than one language that a flag can represent. E.g. India where more than 25 recognized languages are there.
    3. you can read up more in the link that i have posted above.

    As a learning, it is good to use explicit languages instead of country flags. Some other alternatives are also suggested