Best Practices Ethics

Ethics in Design by James Lyons on May 29, 2019

1 Min Read

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Ethics in design involves taking human values into consideration throughout the entire design process to avoid unintended or negative outcomes and to influence positive outcomes. Design ethics is a wide topic ranging from the kind of data a company collects and its security, to the environmental effect of a system, to the impact a product has on a user's attention span and wellbeing.

A computer will do what you tell it to do, but that may be much different from what you had in mind.

Joseph Weizenbaum


One way to incorporate ethics into the design process is to change how we approach creating goals. A shift from "How can we increase user engagement?" to "How can a product increase user engagement while also increasing the trust and autonomy of the user?" can make a big difference.

To design mindfully around ethical impacts of a product or experience, we can take in information from fields such as cognitive psychology, behavioral science, and data privacy. We can also keep human values in mind while setting design goals.

Center for Humane TechnologyArtefact’s Behavior Change CardsValue Sensitive Design - University of Washington