Interface Interference

We define interface interference as any manipulation of the user interface that privileges specific actions over others, thereby confusing the user or limiting discoverability of important action possibilities. Interface interference manifests as numerous individual visual and interactive deceptions, and is thus our most involved strategy with three subtypes: hiddeninformation, preselection, and aesthetic manipulation.

Subtypes of Interface Interference

  • Toying With Emotion

    Any use of language style, color, or other similar elements to evoke an emotion in order to persuade the user into a particular action. Toying with emotion can manifest as cute or scary images, or as enticing or frightening language.

  • False Hierarchy

    Gives one or more options visual or interactive precedence over others, particularly where items should be in parallel rather than hierarchical. This convinces the user to make a selection that they feel is either the only option, or the best option.

  • Brignull’s "Sneak into Basket"

    Includes ads disguised as interactive games, or ads disguised as a download button or other salient interaction the user is looking for. Some sites use a form of this pattern whereby the first click on any part of the site pulls up another web page, effectively making the entire site an ad.

  • Brignull’s "Trick Questions"

    Includes a question that uses confusing wording, double negatives, or otherwise confusing or leading language to manipulate user interactions. Appears to be one thing, but is actually another. One common example of this tactic is the use of checkboxes to opt out rather than opt in, often paired with confusing double negatives.

Latest examples found

Interface Interference Obstruction

Zynga.com: Unsubscribe hidden as white on white

January 20, 2018

Interface Interference

Yelp: Disguised Ads

January 20, 2018

Interface Interference

Yahoo: Distraction While Changing Security Settings

January 20, 2018

Interface Interference Obstruction

Yahoo: Confusing Unsubscribe

January 20, 2018

Forced Action Interface Interference

Wupload: “Premium” Download Speeds

January 20, 2018