While recognition of dark patterns is important it's always good to remember what elements and UI behaviour aren't considered dark patterns. When we hunt for dark patterns we always find interesting comments/statements about certain experiences that, in our opinion, should not be considered dark patterns.  

In this thread, we explain why the examples we found shouldn't be considered dark patterns, and we have to treat them more like a bad design.

We post messages anonymously to make sure the focus is on the actual statement.

Is this error a dark pattern?

Why is this not a dark pattern?
When users experience errors, it’s always a sad story. Unfortunately, every software may experience outages, and this one is clearly the case. The only thing that prevents us from considering this as a dark pattern is a lack of a repeatable pattern of tricking a user. A good comparison would be Sneak into Basket, when a website/app *always* adds additional items to your cart during the purchase.

Errors will always exist in the software world. Also, there are no statistics that errors on this page appear more frequently than on any other page, which would prevent users from cancelling the Apple Music service, and it would fall into Roach Motel dark pattern category.

A questionnaire with swapped "Yes" and "No" is a dark pattern?

Why is this not a dark pattern?
From the first perspective, this form may look like it's using a dark pattern called "Misdirection." In 4 questions, there are two different ways of placing Yes/No answers. It for sure confuses users, and they take more time than needed to complete this form. It would be considered a dark pattern but not in this use case.

To consider this a dark pattern, the company should benefit from this action in some way; the placement of Yes/No should "earn" something (data or money) for the company, but this form is just a regular questionnaire. This case is just a bad user experience, and the Tesco company does not benefit from it.

Is dark mode considered a dark pattern?

Why is this not a dark pattern?
Dark mode became very popular after Apple and Google introduced it in iOS and Android. Before introducing a dark mode, users used to decrease the phone's brightness and haven't stopped using the device. After searching for a while, we couldn't find any studies or statistics that would indicate the increased number of people using smartphones after the introduction of a dark mode. It's just a convenient way to consume content at night time.

The most popular entertaining applications like TikTok and Instagram (Reels) don't even need a dark mode to keep users on the platform because they display content fullscreen making the app interfaceless. This proves another point: if your content is worth checking, people will spend time on your website/app or without a dark mode.

p.s Speaking of dark modes; we also added a dark mode to Hallofshame.design. Enjoy reading it in the evening time.