Behavioural Audits

Dark Patterns Audit Framework (DPAF) - Eliminate Dark Patterns for an Ethical and User-Friendly Web Experience

The Dark Patterns Audit Framework (DPAF), developed by Dr. Stuart Mills in collaboration with CBM Digital, offers a comprehensive solution to identify and eliminate dark patterns and sludge from your website. Implement DPAF to promote ethical design, enhance user experiences, and build trust in your online presence.

Understanding Dark Patterns and Sludge: The Need for Ethical Web Design

Dark patterns are deceptive design techniques used to manipulate users into taking actions they might not have intended. Sludge refers to design elements that create unnecessary friction, hindering users from achieving their desired outcomes. By identifying and eliminating dark patterns and sludge, you can create a more transparent and user-friendly online environment.

DPAF: A Systematic Approach to Identifying and Eliminating Dark Patterns

DPAF breaks down dark patterns into four distinct components, providing a clear framework for identifying and eliminating them from your website.

Component 1: Detours

Detours are dark patterns designed to delay or distract a decision-maker. They can lead users away from their original goal, pushing them towards options that benefit the website owner more than the user.


Component 2: Roundabouts

Roundabouts are dark patterns designed to tire or bore a decision-maker or redirect them when trying to achieve an outcome. These patterns can be frustrating and lead users to abandon their original objective.


Component 3: Shortcuts

Shortcuts are dark patterns designed to exploit feelings created by detours and roundabouts, encouraging decision-makers to take ‘easier,’ but ultimately more costly, decisions.


Component 4: Forced Actions

Forced actions are dark patterns that compel a decision-maker to incur additional, unexpected, or undesired costs to achieve their objective.

Forced Actions

Boost Trust and User Experience with DPAF: The Importance of Auditing for Dark Patterns

By conducting a behavioural audit using DPAF, you can ensure your website is free of dark patterns and sludge. Eliminating these manipulative design techniques enhances user experience, builds trust, and improves your brand's reputation.

Learn from Success: DPAF Case Studies Showcasing the Positive Impact of Dark Pattern Elimination

Explore real-life examples of businesses that have successfully implemented the Dark Patterns Audit Framework, experiencing significant improvements in user experience, trust, and conversions.

Discover our DPAF case studies