You May Be Guilty Of Using Dark Pattern Tactics But Not Even Know It

Dark Patterns are features of interface design crafted to trick your users into doing things they might not want to do, but which benefit your organization. There are 12 types of Dark Patterns and some are as straightforward as making it next to impossible to cancel a user account or making the unsubscribe link on emails difficult to find (or even link to pages that don’t actually contain unsubscribe functionality).

I would like to think most arts orgs don’t go out of their way to employ Dark Patterns but what about the third-party services you may use, like your box office or CRM platforms.

In order to help educate yourself about Dark Patterns and help find out if your organization is unwittingly part of incorporating them into your patron experiences, I published an article on the topic recently at ArtsHacker.

12 Dark Pattern Tactics And How To Make Sure You Aren’t Using Them

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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