Thank you everyone for your contributions. I’m so pleased my article has generated this level of interest and discussion. And I agree with so much of what’s being said.
Some brief responses from me:
Yes, these are examples of flat forms designed badly. Problem is, I’ve struggled to find flat forms designed well. Hence my writing this article.
I feel the Klout example is a dark pattern because what the user wants to do is cancel their subscription (i.e. “submit” the cancellation request) but the “cancel” button (which benefits Klout) is located where we would expect the “submit” button to be.
If you’re interested in the issue of button placement, I suggest Caroline Jarrett’s excellent review of the research (http://slidesha.re/IsxBIF) and my article about alignment (http://bit.ly/176sIE9).
I am the author of this article, but have no part in the design of the A List Apart website, so can’t help with the hover cursor issue. I’m sure the publishers will take it into consideration.
web design POP is right about my incorrect application of the 12% statistic when discussing the impact of relying on color. However, I still contend that there is a significant proportion of the population for whom conveying things only by color will cause a problem. James Edwards has written a great post about this on Sitepoint (http://bit.ly/1gAlZIv).
The real estate example is the mobile version of http://www.hockingstuart.com.au.