Illusive Design Pattern

Cold Start

The cold start problem reveals the most trending trash content.


Displaying irrelevant or the most outrageous content for engagement.


  • Apps like instagram display irrelevant and the most engaging content such as what’s trending globally when a user creates an account to solve the cold start problem.
  • YouTube displays most popular content from experts when user tries to learn as a beginner making the user feel intimidated.

Post-AI Altruheuristics

  • Availability Bias
  • Survivorship Bias
  • Authority Bias
  • Dopamine: Most engaging content is never-ending and the algorithm learns behaviors over time.
  • Status Play: Status is lowered.
  • Comparison: Most of the popular content includes celebrities and influencers.
  • Values and Boundaries: Not taken into account when account is created.
CBT Distortions
  • Shoulds e.g. I should look like that.
  • Filtering: e.g. Why can’t I look like that?
  • Labelling e.g. I’m no good because I don’t look like this.
  • Overgeneralization e.g. Everyone else is better.
  • Discounting the Positives e.g. My features are not good.
  • Jumping to Conclusions e.g. I should get this as it can fix me.
  • Catastrophizing e.g. What if I can’t look like this?
Circ's Principles
  • Champion: Don't be a hypocrite, use the product you build.
  • Warmness: Avoid the cold start problem with the fake start solution.
Mental Health
  • Chronic Stress: Avoid repetitive stimulation using outrage.
  • Chronic Anxiety: Avoid the state of uncertainty and provide reassurance.

Pre-AI Heuristics

Dark Patterns




Graphic Design


Don Norman Principles


Jakob Nielson Principles