Illusive Design Pattern


The premium crown icon is plastered all over the interface, mixed with freemium interactions and resulting in mis-clicks.


Mixing the interface with freemium and premium interactions for conversion.


Apps like Canva mix their interface with inaccessible premium features lacking strong distinction with the free features.

Post-AI Altruheuristics

  • Anchoring Bias
  • Framing Bias
  • Priming
  • Flow: Hard to carry out workflow when wrong buttons are selected.
  • Stress: Frustration when wrong actions are selected.
CBT Distortions
  • Personalization e.g. Why do I keep choosing the option?
  • Shoulds e.g. I should not be making this mistake.
Circ's Principles
  • Declutter: Avoid spamming the interface with freemium and premium interactions.
Mental Health


Pre-AI Heuristics

Dark Patterns


  • Continuation: Mix of free and premium is inconsistent.
Graphic Design
  • Proximity: Free and premium features too close to each other.
Don Norman Principles
  • Signifier: Too subtle as interface is scannable and elements are stored in memory.
Jakob Nielson Principles
  • Consistency: Mix causes confusion.
  • Error Prevention: Easy to click on wrong action.