Devious UX Tactics are Costing Brands Customers at a Time Where Keeping Them is Crucial


For any brand, keeping customers happy is the main objective, even more so in the unprecedented situation we currently find ourselves in. A new report released by design agency Xigen, has discovered that brands are losing customers to bad UX practices. The report revealed that a huge 60% of people would be unlikely to return to a website after a bad UX experience – something brands cannot and should not be risking – especially in the current climate.

Why are brands using dark patterns if it is costing them their customers?
For any business money is the driving factor behind most decisions they make, and this is no exception. By using certain tactics, brands can control the consumer journey through the site and lure them into taking specific actions.

Doing this helps brands to hit targets and KPIs as it enables them to not only keep their customers on the site for longer but also ensures they do exactly what the brand wants them to.

However, with the predicted loss of £253 million in retail sales due to COVID-19, it might just be time for brands to reassess their UX practices in order to retain as many customers as they possibly can during this time.

What bad experiences are customers having?

A number of ‘dark patterns’ and other design elements brands use drive customers away from websites. The report highlights many of these, including the following:

43% of people in the UK cited pop-up ads as the design element they dislike the most
– Complicated ways of unsubscribing from newsletters and other services. Something 68% of people think brands do on purpose
31% said that missing contact details was the design flaw they disliked the most
– A staggering 48% of people said that despite GDPR laws, they were still being signed up to newsletters and subscriptions without their consent
One of the main issues mentioned throughout the report is the difficulty some people have when unsubscribing from the newsletter or services of a brand. Of the 23% of people that said they have experienced this, almost half (47%) of those said that they never wanted to interact with that brand again.

James Pruden, Managing Director at Xigen commented on the survey results:

“What was really interesting about the data we gathered for this report was to see just how much of an impact a poor design element or deceptive UX pattern can have on the way a consumer feels about a brand.

“We know why brands are doing it, but if it leads to a loss of customers, is it really worth it? Especially in the current climate, brands cannot afford to be losing their customer base during this time. We hope that this report can shed a light on what consumers are really looking for and brands can make the changes they need to ensure their customers are happy on site – and ultimately returning time and again.”


Company background

– Xigen is a full-service digital agency specialising in ecommerce.
– Its in-house teams provide web development and design, ecommerce and online marketing services, with an impressive client list that ranges from start-ups to multinational household names.
– Xigen is dedicated to realising and exceeding client vision, whilst ensuring user experience is at the heart of everything it does.