“Guilt And Shame As A UI Design Element”

“This guilt strat isn’t just locked in the primordial garden of several argumentative Medium thinkpieces. It is actually built into sites themselves. It manifests as cute little images that appear on various sites when they detect readers have ad blockers turned on. On Twitter, people recently complained that Forbes was strategically shaming them with Martin Shkreli quotes (clearly designed to torture the ad-blocking reader into madness). But other sites like GQ.com go with a more straightforward guilt-inducing approach.
The worst shame offender of all, however, is quickly becoming the mailing list opt-out guilt trip. When visiting a website, a pop-up implores you to sign up for their fantastic mailing list. The only way to get rid of this list is to click on the fine print at the bottom. But too often, this doesn’t merely say “Opt out” or “No thanks.”No. It forces you to click a statement acknowledging you are a terrible, deplorable, disgusting human being.It is not just enough that you don’t want to subscribe to the mailing list about political news. You must admit that “no, I DON’T care about being well-informed and reading great journalism.””

This is fantastic, largely because of all of the screencaps of “guilt UI” with captions that clarify how they are supposed to make you feel.

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