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Second Call for Contributions: The 'Unpacking Deceptive Design' Research Series

Send us your research abstracts by 10th December, 2022.

Read accepted abstracts from out first call here.

Deceptive design or ‘dark patterns’ are manipulative or deceptive practices built into user interfaces by developers that have the effect, intentionally or unintentionally, of obscuring, subverting, or impairing consumer autonomy, decision-making, or choice. They are often carefully designed to alter decision-making by users or trick users into actions they did not intend to take. These deceptive design practices are built into user interfaces across multiple online experiences today. Shopping and eCommerce platforms nudge and manipulate users to share more data and buy products, social media uses deceptive design to increase user engagement to unhealthy levels, and financial apps use deceptive design to trick users into signing up for products which could be harmful.

Launching the Unpacking Deceptive Design Research Series

Deceptive design is now being studied by researchers, civil society organisations and policymakers for its impact on individuals, societies and markets at large. The 'Unpacking Deceptive Design Series' is a collaborative space for researchers and interested individuals to contribute from diverse disciplinary perspectives and fill knowledge and awareness gaps on the issue. The blog invites contributions reflecting on deceptive design practices as it intersects with competition in digital markets, data protection and privacy, consumer protection online, financial security, human rights and social security across jurisdictions among other topics. The research series is part of The Ethical UI/UX design manual project by The Pranava Institute.

We are also happy to announce that contributions will be paid thanks to the support of the University of Notre Dame Tech Ethics Lab. A standard honorarium of $200 will be offered to authors of accepted posts.

How to contribute to the Unpacking Deceptive Design Research Series

What we publish

  • We invite contributions engaging various forms of impacts of deceptive design on society, including impact on users, data and privacy, competition, information online, consumer rights, vulnerable populations, digital markets, etc.

  • In particular, we appreciate articles exploring a specific dimension of such design choices or proposing how such practices can be countered.

The piece should:

  • explicitly reflect on one or more aspects of deceptive design like impact on competition in e-commerce, impact on users and data, impact on youth online, etc.

  • explore alternatives to current practices either in design practice, or propose policy solutions, regulatory direction, consensus building, awareness, etc.

  • be between 1,200 and 2000 words, blog-style accessible to a wider audience. Longer posts might be published as a series of “episodes” linked to each other.

How to participate

  • Please email a 200-300 word abstract that outlines the topic, scope and approach of your piece with references to by 10th December along with a 100-word bio. We accept submissions on a rolling basis.

Suggested topics for submission

  • How deceptive design intersects with currently existing approaches such as consumer protection, online safety, competition in markets, etc.

  • Analysing the impact of deceptive design on digital markets and specific sectors (e-commerce, social media, education, etc.)

  • Formulating and implementing design guidelines and standards

  • Emerging approaches and tools to tackle Deceptive Design Practices

  • Evaluating Design Impact Assessment approaches

  • Strategy and roadmap to include all stakeholders to tackle deceptive design

  • Deceptive design and the non-English internet

  • Impact of deceptive design practices on first-generation internet users in non-Western countries.

  • Examining Deceptive Design practices from non-western epistemologies.

Submissions on the above-stated issues and/or aligned with these themes are welcome. We are also open to other relevant issues around deceptive design practices.



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