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?

Allow my organization to manage my device creates an additional account on your computer, and links your device to your business.

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

Nope.

So what’s the problem?

The tickbox is a red herring. It doesn’t matter if it’s Checked or Unchecked (or in English, Ticked or Unticked).

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!?

For those of us who are contractors or employees working on Our Own Computers, this is a pain. Microsoft logs into MS Office and creates the aforementioned account within Windows 10.

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

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?

It’s simple: it does something unexpected to Microsoft’s benefit.

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

It’s a simple fix

  • move the No don’t do this option beneath the do it option.

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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