Today's Obsession: Dark Patterns

Here’s a fascinating article at 90% of Everything which explores, at its simplest level, the floor layouts of several stores. On a larger layout, it shows via heat map how we shop while faced with notions of way-finding that don’t make sense to us. These confusing floorplans could be seen by the shopper as mistakes, but rest assured, they’re intentional. These are called Dark Patterns—layouts constructed with the understanding of how a person thinks and feels inside them, to the end result of more purchases.

There are examples looking inside an IKEA, Harrods, and other big-box stores. All of them illustrate how the simple mental act of recognizing where you are in a space influences how and how much you shop. In summary: the fact that you are constantly lost inside an IKEA has much to do with how much you purchase—as much as 60% of IKEA purchases reported are generally unintended at the onset of the trip.

This is a longer read, so set it aside for later if today’s a busy day.

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