Archive for February 2008


'Designing Ethical Experiences: Social Media and the Conflicted Future' is live at UXMatters

February 12th, 2008 — 3:43pm

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UXMat­ters just pub­lished part 1 of a two part series I’m writ­ing on ethics and design titled, Design­ing Eth­i­cal Expe­ri­ences: Social Media and the Con­flicted Future.
Here’s an excerpt, to whet your appetites for a prac­ti­cal take on what’s often seen as a philo­soph­i­cal sub­ject.
Ques­tions of ethics and con­flict can seem far removed from the daily work of user expe­ri­ence (UX) design­ers who are try­ing to develop insight into people’s needs, under­stand their out­looks, and design with empa­thy for their con­cerns. In fact, the con­verse is true: When con­flicts between busi­nesses and customers–or any groups of stakeholders–remain unre­solved, UX prac­ti­tion­ers fre­quently find them­selves fac­ing eth­i­cal dilem­mas, search­ing for design com­pro­mises that sat­isfy com­pet­ing camps. This dynamic is the essen­tial pat­tern by which con­flicts in goals and per­spec­tives become eth­i­cal con­cerns for UX design­ers. Unchecked, it can lead to the cre­ation of uneth­i­cal expe­ri­ences that are hos­tile to users–the very peo­ple most design­ers work hard to benefit–and dam­ag­ing to the rep­u­ta­tions and brand iden­ti­ties of the busi­nesses respon­si­ble.
Stay tuned for part two, which will share a set of sug­ges­tions for how design can man­age con­flict and work toward the cre­ation of eth­i­cal inte­grated expe­ri­ences. Mean­while, let us know what you think of the ideas here, or at the UXMat­ters site.

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