Tag Archives: ethics

Can my design be used for evil?

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There has been a lot of talk about ethics in UX circles over the last couple of years. This is a good thing. However, most of it has not been actionable in everyday work. And, to be honest, most ethically problematic products weren’t designed to be unethical. I am quite sure the designers of smart thermostats, easier purchase flows, sharing economy apps and social networks didn’t expect that their work would be used for domestic abuse, unwanted purchases, worker exploitation and skewed world views.  In my experience, UX designers are generally a group of people who believes in the good of their fellow humans which means most of the time they don’t even consider how their designs could be used in unintended ways that might be harmful or dangerous. But maybe we, as a group, should. Maybe we should try to imagine the worst ways our designs could possibly be used as a part of our design process so we can at least try to mitigate the risk of that happening. 

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