Design for Evil: Ethical Design

Interaction design and the broader user experience design field have no ethics guidelines. Practitioners take shortcuts due to time and budget pressures, participate in questionable business practices and projects, and act without considered thought. These all have a direct impact on ethical lapses and opens the door to unintentional mistreatment of our clients and peers, participants in research studies, and the people who use our designs. In contrast, other design disciplines (architecture, graphic design, industrial design) and social sciences (anthropology, psychology, sociology) have long-established ethics frameworks. Behavior of professionals and how work product is handled and used are shaped by ethical principles and practices. This ethical imperative aims to protect stakeholders’ welfare and govern how practitioners treat them. Issues and scenarios discussed include: Privacy/publicy, locus of control, default choices, and digital, physical, social, and emotional aspects of our practice. This session is recommended for anyone who wishes to address the ethical challenges we face in day-to-day practice, and begin thinking about how to best bring design ethics to our work. ——— Kaleem Khan Kaleem is a founding partner of strategy and design research consultancy True Insight, based in Toronto. As a strategist, consultant, and researcher, Kaleem helps global companies, agencies, startups, and governments create great experiences and solve complex problems. Over two decades, he has worked with clients that include leaders in consumer electronics, mobile technology, Internet services, software, health care, financial services, telecom, and security. That experience has informed his perspective on ethical challenges in the interaction design field. He is an industry advisor to Ryerson University, OCAD University sLab, and the Mobile Experience + Design conference. Kaleem runs the UX Book Club Toronto; leads the UX Irregulars, the largest user experience design professionals’ group in Canada; and co-founded the InteractionCamp unconference. Kaleem is an active member of professional user experience design groups that include ACM SIGCHI, the IAI, and the IxDA.

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