While reading Rian van der Merwe‘s enlightening A Dad’s Plea To Developers Of iPad Apps For Children over at Smashing Magazine‘s site, I spotted an intriguing link and meandered right out of the article. Thanks to Rian’s keen writing and my curiosity-driven clicking, I eventually landed at Harry Brignull‘s illuminating Dark Patterns wiki. What I found was an engrossing presentation about why and how user experience designers sometimes go over to the “dark side” and develop user interfaces that trick people.
I watched the presentation and explored the accompanying links and resources. As I did, I began to think about a number of for-profit educational sites I’ve visited or seen others use. The next time I return to these sites I’ll be looking at their design with new eyes.