Due to the growth of Big Data and associated technologies, persuasion practices in online settings have been increasing. However, the use of technologies is a two-edged sword. Technologies can be used to influence users without their awareness of being persuaded, making them more vulnerable to such influence. Recently this concern has been more pronounced due to the revelation of Facebook’s target ads sponsored by the Russian government during the 2016 US presidential election. Despite its importance, persuasion awareness has received less attention in IS research. As technologies have been embedded throughout online platforms and provided more insights about their users, there is a substantial possibility persuading users via the use of technology design. Thus, the likelihood of being persuaded without awareness will increase. To this end, we aim to address the two specific research questions: What are key forms of persuasive design which influence online users’ persuasion awareness? How does persuasive design form influence online users’ persuasion awareness and behavioral responses?

To answer these questions, we apply Persuasion Knowledge Model which explains persuasion awareness in the offline context and personalization literature to outline how online users perceive and respond to a persuasion attempt triggered by persuasive website design. Drawing on Decision Support System, we identify three forms of persuasive design in online settings—suggestive, informative, and supportive design. We expect that this research will provide a theoretical model to enhance understanding of online users’ persuasion awareness and inform website designers to design websites which promote users’ informed judgments and decisions.