At Business of Software conference last month, I sat in a talk by Derek Sivers and learned about Mensch Patterns, his antidote to the inescapable Dark Patterns so prevalent on the web today (tricks that make users do things that they didn’t mean to).
I like the idea of Mensch Patterns, essentially over-compensating for Dark Patterns by being incredibly customer oriented. If we treat our customers how we’d like to be treated and respected, and focus on making what we do better and more valuable to them, our long-term interests are aligned, and all the things we want in the business — retention, loyalty, awareness, will come out of this.
Is it too naive to believe in this? Perhaps. However, the more time we spend doing something, the better we get at it. Do we want to get better at tricking people to use/buy our products, or get better at making our products and services great and building a strong relationships with our customers?
It’ll take longer to build growth and retention, trust and loyalty, without the clever tricks of Dark Patterns. But if you are thinking long-term like I am after this talk, I think it’s absolutely worth the time to find, practice, and perfect our own Mensch Patterns.