Illusive Design Pattern

Elite Survivors

Young entrepreneurs do not represent the average entrepreneurs yet they are glorified in the media.


Misrepresenting reality through survivorship to increase sales, user adoption and engagement. Glorification of luxury.


  • Success stories found in marketing sites, video testimonials, reviews and other promotion materials mislead by highlighting the hero myth however the hero is an outlier leading to misrepresentation and exploitation of the narrative fallacy.
  • Highlighting content that is not representative of the typical user.
  • Companies promote awards that are based on employees ratings and not from effort.
  • Companies misleading users by promoting WiFi speeds without mentioning variability.
  • Companies like Apple promoting battery power without mentioning degradation over time.

Post-AI Altruheuristics

  • Framing Bias
  • Narrative Fallacy
  • Survivorship Bias
  • Bandwagon Effect
  • Conformity Bias
  • Authority Bias
  • Affinity Bias
  • Memes: Stories spread and are believed to be common when rare.
  • Truth: Only highlights are mentioned in the story.
  • Comparison: Provides a false sense of hope using the hero story without mentioning all variables involved.
CBT Distortions
  • Global Labelling e.g. I could be like that success story too.
  • Personalization e.g. Thinking that success stories must be very common when not.
Circ's Principles
  • Transparency: Display risks of biases and distortions for illusive interactions that are unavoidable.
Mental Health


Pre-AI Heuristics

Dark Patterns




Graphic Design


Don Norman Principles


Jakob Nielson Principles