A devious little marketing nudge

Courtesy of computer security provider Lavasoft (spotted by a sharp behavioral graduate student at Booth).

Yes, you can click the grayed-out button on the left and “update” to the free software.


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  • Vince Bohner

    This strikes me less as a nudge (paternal libertarianism) and more as a dark pattern (http://wiki.darkpatterns.org/). I think of nudges as designs or policies that direct the person towards a decision they probably want to (or should) make anyway (or benefits the community). This example seems more like marketing/design trickery. The grayed out Update button looks disabled (and the word Upgrade is almost visually identical to Update)…so you’re not really giving “libertarian” information to the user. Without thinking, the user might click on “Upgrade” thinking they are actually Updating, which will potentially frustrate the user because they didn’t really make the choice they thought they were making – which seems the opposite of paternal libertarianism.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/herbjones Herb Jones

    I remember seeing stats a long time ago on lavasoft’s multi-variate testing… this is pretty slick though. 

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