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 "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

Yelp: Disguised Ads

January 20, 2018

Yahoo: Confusing Unsubscribe

September 12, 2018