Category: The Working Life

Improving Our Ethical Choices: Managing the Imp of the Perverse

September 30th, 2008 — 11:06am

Design­ers inter­ested in the new chal­lenges of ubiq­ui­tous com­put­ing / ubi­comp, ethics, and the future of inte­grated expe­ri­ences will enjoy Improv­ing Our Eth­i­cal Choices: Man­ag­ing the Imp of the Per­verse, pub­lished in UXMat­ters on Sep­tem­ber 8th.
Rang­ing from Baude­laire to the Big Chill, with Edgar Allen Poe as guid­ing spirit, this fourth and final install­ment of the Design­ing Eth­i­cal Expe­ri­ences series writ­ten for UXMat­ters pro­vides prac­ti­cal sug­ges­tions — drawn mostly from busi­ness, psy­chol­ogy, and ethics researchers — on how to bal­ance the ten­sions of dif­fi­cult design choices. We’re not all philoso­phers, so as always the focus is on insights into how we make all types of deci­sions, not sim­ply eth­i­cal dilem­mas.
Align­ing The Deci­sion Cycle
Here’s an excerpt:
Eth­i­cal fad­ing, the ten­sion between our Want and Should Selves, and our nat­ural ten­dency to cre­ate juicy ratio­nal­iza­tions are pow­er­ful obsta­cles to the mak­ing of eth­i­cal design choices. As UX pro­fes­sion­als, how can we bet­ter align our Want and Should Selves, ensur­ing that we cre­ate eth­i­cal expe­ri­ences?
I learned a great deal about myself and my out­look while research­ing and writ­ing this series of arti­cles. I hope read­ers find the insights and tools valu­able; either directly as a resource for deal­ing with eth­i­cal chal­lenges of the new inte­grated expe­ri­ences, or more gen­er­ally dur­ing the day to day ebb and flow of design work.

Comment » | Ethics & Design, The Working Life, User Experience (UX)

Better To Be Likeable Than Competent...

November 17th, 2005 — 10:14am

At least accord­ing to the Boston Globe arti­cle titled Don’t under­es­ti­mate the value of social skills, in which Pene­lope Trunk quotes an HBS fac­ulty mem­ber as fol­lows:
’In fact, across the board, in a wide vari­ety of busi­nesses, peo­ple would rather work with some­one who is lik­able and incom­pe­tent than with some­one who is skilled and obnox­ious, said Tiziana Cas­ciaro, a pro­fes­sor at Har­vard Busi­ness School. “How we value com­pe­tence changes depend­ing on whether we like some­one or not,” she says.‘
I guess this explains how we ended up with George W. Bush as President…

Comment » | The Working Life

On The (Phone) Line

June 3rd, 2004 — 4:54pm

Some star­tling num­bers about call cen­ter employ­ment, from the newslet­ter Knowledge@Wharton:
“an esti­mated 3% of the U.S. work­force [is] employed in call cen­ters“
That’s a greater share of the total than for all farm pay­rolls and agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion across the U.S.
“Call cen­ters… typ­i­cally expe­ri­ence a 30% annual turnover in employ­ees.“
Not as high as some meat pro­cess­ing facil­i­ties, but get­ting there…
“In some cases the mean dura­tion of employ­ment is 17 days.“
Which I believe at one point was the expected life­time of a freshly deployed infantry­man for the Soviet Army on the East­ern Front dur­ing WWII

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