Modern persuasion is still persuasion, or manipulation of some might refer to.
“Persuasion is a process that aims to utilize (true or false) information to change people’s attitudes in relation to something, usually as a precursor to behavioural change. Its use is prevalent in democratic societies, which do not, in principle, permit censorship of information or the use of force to enact power. The transition of information to the internet, particularly with the rise of social media, together with the capacity to capture, store and process big data, and advances in machine learning, have transformed the way modern persuasion is conducted. This has led to new opportunities for persuaders, but also to well-documented instances of abuse: fake news, Cambridge Analytica, foreign interference in elections, etc. We investigate large-scale technology-based persuasion, with the help of three case studies derived from secondary sources, in order to identify and describe the underlying technology architecture and propose issues for future research, including a number of ethical concerns.”
Jeremy Rose & Oskar MacGregor ~ Journal of Information Architecture 6.1 ★
Ethics not only for research, but also for design.
“Research is an essential part of creating good UX. We are often in roles where we interact with our users in order to collect data to inform our UX. We need to ensure our UX research is compliant with ethical standards of research conducted with humans. To do this, we need to have an awareness of potential ethical issues in research, training on how to conduct ethical research, and a systematic review of our research protocols to avoid potential ethical pitfalls. In this article, Victor Yocco discusses some areas of ethical consideration for UX practitioners when conducting UX research, and explores potential solutions to preventing research from venturing into unethical territory.”
Victor Yocco a.k.a. /victor-yocco | @VictorYocco ~ Smashing Magazine ★
On the ethics, morals and norms of digital designers.
“This is the second of a two-part article. The first part of this article was devoted to exploring existential values and ethical issues where ill or misdirected intent occur. In this article, we will identify and examine ethical issues (with special reference to the healthcare industry) where the intent, though benevolent, results in latent ethical problems.”
Chris Kiess a.k.a. /chriskiess | @chris_kiess ~ UXPA Magazine ★
And what about the ethics of UX designers?
“Applying ethical thinking to UX design cannot be just about the end goal. This requires constant vigilance – regarding not only the explicit consequences of the designer’s work, but also the hidden, unintended consequences.”
Peter Hornsby a.k.a. /drpeterhornsby ~ UXmatters ★
Philosophy doesn’t mean ‘vague’. It means reflective thinking on important questions, issues and beliefs.
“When we use a computer, its performance seems to degrade progressively. This is not a mere impression. Over the years of owning a particular machine, it will get sluggish. Sometimes this slowdown is caused by hardware faults, but more often the culprit is software: programs get more complicated, as more features are added and as old bugs are patched (or not), and greater demands are placed on resources by new programs running in the background. After a while, even rebooting the computer does not restore performance, and the only solution is to upgrade to a new machine. Philosophy can be a bit like a computer getting creakier. It starts well, dealing with significant and serious issues that matter to anyone. Yet, in time, it can get bloated and bogged down and slow. Philosophy begins to care less about philosophical questions than about philosophers’ questions, which then consume increasing amounts of intellectual attention. The problem with philosophers’ questions is not that they are impenetrable to outsiders — although they often are, like any internal game — but that whatever the answers turn out to be, assuming there are any, they do not matter, because nobody besides philosophers could care about the questions in the first place.”
Luciano Floridi a.k.a. /luciano-floridi | @floridi ~ The New Atlantis (special issue Information, Matters, and Life) ★
The best talent spending their energy on conversion buttons. Think!
“Ethics and design should be looked at in context. Despite many claims to do so, this actually happens rarely.”
Dieter Petereit a.k.a. @dpetereit ~ noupe ★
Important topic addressed amongst digital designers.
“Over the next two decades, connected products will demand an unprecedented amount of user trust. Technologists and designers will ask the public for yet more of their attention, more of their data, more of their lives. AIs will know users’ deepest secrets. Co-operating devices will automate security and safety. Autonomous vehicles will even make life-or-death decisions for passengers. But ours is an industry still unwilling to grapple with the ethical, social, and political angles of this future. We mistakenly believe that technology is neutral; that mere objects cannot have moral relevance. And so we make embarrassing blunders – racist chatbots, manipulative research, privacy violations – that undermine trust and harm those we should help.”
Cennydd Bowles a.k.a. /cennydd | @cennydd ~ interaction17 videos
Set of articles, skills and tools to raise the bar.
“Design has a huge influence on how people behave and live their lives. In how we as designers aim to answer the question of how to live ‘a good life’ the act of design itself can be seen as ethical. That’s why it’s important to know about ethics and learn to incorporate it in your design work. And for that, you’re in the right place. (…) In March 2017 Jet Gispen graduated on the research for and development of this ethical toolkit for designers. Struck by the lack of ethical knowledge of most designers and design students, she set out to find a way to improve that. By means of various case studies performed at the Delft University of Technology, Jet researched ways for designers to incorporate ethics into their design process. The result of this research was this template-based toolkit.”
Jet Gispen a.k.a. /jet-gispen ~ Ethics for designers
Ethics, the new unique selling point of design.
“As the user experience professional, when the business wants to let videos wander (in other words, business leaders or other well-intentioned team members want to use the video in a way that the participant didn’t agree to), someone must serve as gatekeeper. Whenever these moments occur, our UX Cassandra role should compel us to represent not only our users’ need for great user experience, but for proper ethical handling of their participation in our experiments. Each of our new tools provide ethical challenges. We have an obligation to consider their challenges and address them as seriously as we do with our live participant studies or any of our methods.”
Josephine Scott a.k.a. @josies ★
Kind of challenges, we must be aware of. And what are our responses, Toynbee would ask.
“New technologies have always produced unintended consequences. But user experience designers and engineers face a number of new ethical challenges today with the rise of technology and our interaction and dependence on it. UX designers’ primary job is to improve usability and extend productivity. But they also have a responsibility to address the unintended consequences of new technologies, some of them with a clear ethical dimension. Following is a look at some of the principle ethical quandaries that UX designers will run up against and must deal with responsibly.”
(Bill M. Gribbons ~ GigaOm)