21NTC Session

Consentful UX


We want our websites to stand out. Website makers are often pressured to keep users’ attention, no matter what it takes. This often means attempting to “engage” users in ways that we would never dream of doing with someone face-to-face: interrupting them, stalking them around a web page, and using deceptive language to get them to remain on a site or take a particular action.

Even if these UX tactics can garner us a few extra newsletter subscriptions or donations, does that mean we should use them? While engaging some users, are we driving others away?

We use the framework established by the Consentful Tech Project to look at common UX patterns, including modals, “manipulinks”, and other dark patterns, and consider how they can erode user focus, attention, and trust. We will share better examples of UX patterns that are respectful of users, and strategies to get stakeholders on board.

Session Type

30 minute session

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify coercive UX patterns.
  • Understand what constitutes more respectful and accessible UX patterns.
  • Influence web project stakeholders to make UX more consentful.

Target Audience

1. Website design and communications decision-makers and influencers; 2. Web designers and developers who care about accessibility.




Clayton Dewey

Product Owner


Clayton has been working in nonprofit technology and web development since 2011. He applies his background in linguistics and sociology to ensure websites meet users’ needs. Aside from content strategy and user experience design, Clayton also enjoys being a goofy dad and always appreciates a good paraprosdokian.

Johanna Bates



Co-founder of DevCollab, Johanna began her formal tech career at WGBH in Boston in 2000. In her leadership of the technical team, she prioritizes inclusive design and web accessibility in all its forms. She is a longtime member of and volunteer community leader for NTEN.org, and co-hosts NTEN monthly chat calls for nonprofit Drupal Users. Johanna is also co-organizer of the annual DrupalCon Nonprofit Summit.



March 23, 2021


11:00am – 11:30am