Microsoft Teams Dark Pattern

When is a checkbox not a checkbox?

Greetings from the Couch
Aug 28 · 2 min read

Microsoft Teams is YACA (Yet Another Chat App) in a world completely stuffed with them.

It comes bundled with Microsoft Office for businesses, and you can download your very own copy for your computer.

Login is through your work account, which is pretty standard.

Then this happens.

The checkbox doesn’t stop the app adding an account to your Operating System
The checkbox doesn’t stop the app adding an account to your Operating System

What’s this do?

All good, just untick it and you’re done!

So what’s the problem?

The only way to stop your computer being linked to your work account, and work policies, etc is to click No, sign in to this app only.

ARGH! I didn’t know that! How do I fix this!?

I’ve seen one solution which is to clear out Windows Credentials in Credentials Manager. But the real fix is this:

  • Log out of Microsoft applications
  • Click your start icon > Settings
  • Click Accounts > Access Work or School
  • Click your work account and click Disconnect.

Now when you login to Teams again, make sure you click No, sign in to this app only. You only need to do it once and it’s problem solved.

Why is this a dark pattern?

Unticking the checkbox Allow my organization to manage my device should Disallow the action. That’s basic UX (User Experience). Check a box, it happens, Uncheck, it doesn’t.

This is functionality that’s been around for decades and it’s being misused.

Finally, putting the actual way to prevent this happening right at the bottom left helps hide the No Don’t Do This option. And why would you click that if you’ve Unchecked the Checkbox?

Microsoft can fix this

  • move the No don’t do this option beneath the do it option.
  • Convert the checkbox to a radio button and add one to both options.

This way, the two options are clear and you only get to choose one OR the other.

Alternatively, Just make the checkbox work as expected!

Disorderly Instruct

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