Can digital design manipulate?

In a semester course at HTW Berlin, a dozen students tried to find out. This is a collection of experiments.


When building digital products, what role does behavioral psychology play? Can we really be influenced in our interactions just by what color a button has? What happens if whole business models are build this? This summer semester 2020 at HTW Berlin, a dozen communication design students together with tutor Christian Ernst asked these questions and many more.

We learned about Dark UX Patterns and psychological mechanisms that work on every human, and we experimented a lot with them. This is a collection of these experiments, some of the provocative, some of them educational and some of them idealistic – but all of them highly relevant. Have a look around!

You vs. The Platform

You want to delete your account – easy, right? Not quite...

No More Dark Patterns

Concept for a browser plugin that detects and negates Dark UX Patterns.

The Attention Economy

How much are you worth as a Facebook user? This project offers a look.

POC-COP: A Discussion

An interactive interview discussing racial profiling.

This website documents our student projects. Another page shows how exactly dark patterns work in applications and grants a view into a remote university course.