Archive for May 2008


Spring Reading

May 12th, 2008 — 10:44pm

The other day, over a hot corned beef sand­wich from the 2nd Avenue Deli, some­one asked what I’m read­ing now. As usual, I ended up mum­bling a few half com­plete book titles (not sure why, but I always have dif­fi­culty remem­ber­ing on the spot — prob­a­bly because I’ve got four or five things going at once…).
To help fill out the list, and because I’m still doing most of my writ­ing via other out­lets, here’s a snap­shot of the books scat­tered around my house. It’s divided into help­ful cat­e­gories, includ­ing ‘Books I’d Like To Start Read­ing Soon, But Shouldn’t, Because I’m Still Read­ing Other Stuff’, and ‘Books I’ve Been Mean­ing to Read Some­time Soon, But Prob­a­bly Won’t Won’t Get To In The Near Future.‘
Books I’m Read­ing Now

Books I’d Like To Start Read­ing Soon, But Shouldn’t, Because I’m Still Read­ing Other Stuff

Books Recently Finished

Books I’ve Been Mean­ing to Read Some­time Soon, But Prob­a­bly Won’t Get To In The Near Future

Bonus: Things I’m prob­a­bly Never Going to Start / Fin­ish Reading

3 comments » | Reading Room

Does Being Ethical Pay?

May 12th, 2008 — 11:16am

Com­pa­nies spend huge amounts of money to be ‘socially respon­si­ble.’ Do con­sumers reward them for it? And how much?’ is the leader for a short piece titled Does Being Eth­i­cal Pay? just pub­lished in Sloan Man­age­ment Review. The quick answer is “Yes”, so it’s worth read­ing fur­ther to learn the spe­cific ways that eth­i­cal­ity plays into people’s spend­ing deci­sions.
Here’s an excerpt:

In all of our tests, con­sumers were will­ing to pay a slight pre­mium for the eth­i­cally made goods. But they went much fur­ther in the other direc­tion: They would buy uneth­i­cally made prod­ucts only at a steep dis­count.


What’s more, con­sumer atti­tudes played a big part in shap­ing those results. Peo­ple with high stan­dards for cor­po­rate behav­ior rewarded the eth­i­cal com­pa­nies with big­ger pre­mi­ums and pun­ished the uneth­i­cal ones with big­ger dis­counts.

At least accord­ing to this research, being eth­i­cal is a nec­es­sary attribute for a prod­uct.
There are clear impli­ca­tions for prod­uct design: ethics should be on the table as a con­cern at all stages of prod­uct devel­op­ment, from ideation and con­cept­ing of new prod­ucts, to the mar­ket­ing and sales of fin­ished prod­ucts.
And these (lim­ited, cer­tainly not the final word) find­ings match with the idea of adding ethics to the set of impor­tant user expe­ri­ence qual­i­ties cap­tured in Peter Morville’s UX Hon­ey­comb.
The (Aug­mented) Eth­i­cal UX Hon­ey­comb
ethical_small_honeycombbig.png
How are user expe­ri­ence design­ers tak­ing the eth­i­cal qual­i­ties of their work into account?

Comment » | Ethics & Design, User Research

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