Sneaky Hooks

Sneaky Hooks

Yesterday I went to New Look and tried on a bunch of jumpers (it’s gotten cold, yo).

As I entered the changing room, I saw these hooks and loved the concept. There’s different hooks to hang your stuff on as you try them on and make decisions. No more trying to remember that stuff on the far left side of the door is to keep. Ace!

I didn’t read the signs properly at first and I assumed they were “yes”, “maybe” and “no”. As I took my coat and bag off, I thought to myself that it would be good to have a fourth hook for your own stuff. Then I looked up and realised there is a “My Stuff” hook! Great… except it takes the place of the “No” hook!

One hook is for stuff I already own. One hook is for things I’ve tried on that I might buy and one is for things I am definitely going to buy. There’s no hook for stuff I decide not to buy. This just makes me mad. New Look, do you think you’re gonna trick me into buying stuff by not providing a hook for me to hang my “No Thanks” items on?

I can imagine the conversation that went on in the meeting where this was decided. I’m sure there was a HiPPO saying something like “Ooh, I like the idea, but we can’t have a “No” hook, we want to encourage people to buy things, not say no! Having a “No” hook will encourage them to say no.”

It’s classic example of Dark Patterns… a company trying to design their system to persuade users to do something, rather than considering what the user actually wants.

As customers, we’re aware that we can choose not to purchase things that we take into the changing room, taking away the “no” hook isn’t going to change that, it just makes us feel like you’re trying to take away our agency, and not in a subtle way. It makes the whole experience a little bit worse. (Because the missing hook messed with the whole system in my mind, I actually ended up not using the “definitely” hook at all, even though I did buy two items. I hung my “no” items on the door.)

I’d *love* to see some research from New Look on these hooks and how it’s affecting customer experience or sales.