Research into Dark Patterns

Evil by Design: Interaction design to lead us into temptation

by Chris Nodder

Evil By Design book cover

Find it on Amazon USA, Amazon UK, or in your local book store.

Download a sample chapter FREE (2.5Mb PDF).


Learn how companies make us feel good about doing what they want.

Approaching persuasive design from the dark side, this book melds psychology, marketing and design concepts to show why we’re susceptible to certain persuasive techniques. Packed with examples from every nook and cranny of the web, the book provides easily digestible and applicable patterns for putting these design techniques to work. Organized by sin, it includes:

  • Pride. Use social proof to position your product in line with your visitors’ values.
  • Sloth. Build a path of least resistance that leads users where you want them to go.
  • Gluttony. Escalate customers’ commitment and use loss aversion to keep them there.
  • Anger. Understand the power of metaphysical arguments and anonymity.
  • Envy. Create a culture of status around your product and feed aspirational desires.
  • Lust. Turn desire into commitment by using emotion to defeat rational behavior.
  • Greed. Keep customers engaged by reinforcing the behaviors you desire.

Now you too can leverage human fallibility to create powerful persuasive interfaces that people will love to use – but will you use your new knowledge for good or evil?

About the author:

Chris Nodder is an independent UX consultant who also publishes techniques for agile UX teams on the Questionable Methods site. He previously was a Director at Nielsen Norman Group and a Senior User Researcher at Microsoft. He has a background in psychology and Human-Computer Interaction.

Praise for the book from the best in the industry:

The seven sins are all around us, easy to spot. But designs that apply the underlying behavioral forces are harder to discern. That’s why we need this book.” —Don Norman, author of Design of Everyday Things

Illuminating, amusing, and a genuine page-turner. Will give you insight into ways you have been tricked and, even better, give you the tools to persuade others either for evil or, if you really must, for good.” —Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini, author of Tog on Interface and Tog on Software Design

Better read this book before your neighbor does and pulls a fast one on you. If this appeal to fear isn’t enough, then maybe greed will do the trick: any website will make lots of money by following the guidelines in this book, even if you don’t go all the way to become truly evil.” —Jakob Nielsen, author of Designing Web Usability and Mobile Usability