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Ethics and UX IxDA Berlin 2018

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My presentation on the ethics of being a designer at the 10th Anniversary party for the IxDA in Berlin, Germany. September 8, 2018

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Ethics and UX IxDA Berlin 2018

  1. 1. EthUX Seven deadly sins that keep us from building a better world Eric Reiss @elreiss IxDA 10th Anniversary September 8, 2018 Berlin, Germany
  2. 2. Disclaimer Absolutely no attempt has been made to make this presentation politically correct. If you can’t handle the real world, get in line for the Turkish BBQ. Jetzt! No animals were harmed during the production of this PowerPoint (even though I tried). Made entirely of recycled electrons.
  3. 3. Disclaimer #2 If you’ve heard this all before, my apologies. If you’ve ignored these issues, step up and take a stand.
  4. 4. Charlie Mulholland | “Design Ethics as Inspiration | 6 February 2012
  5. 5. Clive K. Lavery | “Being a Digital Do-gooder”| 27 September, 2016
  6. 6. Aral Balkan | “Design or Decoration?”| 27 September, 2017
  7. 7. Leyla Nasib and Jonna Ratanen| “Children’s Rights and Ethics in Design”| 17 April, 2018
  8. 8. What are “ethics”? What are “morals”?
  9. 9. “Morals” “Ethics” “The beliefs I have accepted.” “How I practice these beliefs.”
  10. 10. “Thou shalt not kill.”
  11. 11. Internal External
  12. 12. Johann and his iPhone
  13. 13. Johann and the lost letter
  14. 14. Johann, Albert, Clara
  15. 15. Johann, Albert, Clara (and Leo)
  16. 16. Clara
  17. 17. Clara 1983 - 2018
  18. 18. • It’s not just “1” and “0” • Or right and wrong • Or “yes” and “no” • Or “black” and “white” The world is grey and difficult. Learn to live with it. The world isn’t binary
  19. 19. “Do no evil” “Make money”
  20. 20. “Make money” “Do no evil”
  21. 21. “Make money” “Keep the government off our back”
  22. 22. Eric, stop bashing Google!
  23. 23. Sister Dorothy and the Vatican
  24. 24. Internal External
  25. 25. • Privacy • Security • Intellectual property rights plus • Diversity • Inclusion • Harassment Key ethical issues today
  26. 26. • Is this right? • Is this respectful? • Is this responsible? • Is this fair? • Is this legal? Questions we need to ask
  27. 27. Small compromises can add up to big problems!
  28. 28. 1. Manipulating the research 2. Faking the content 3. Promoting addiction 4. Dark patterns 5. Teamwork trauma 6. Offensive AI 7. UX theatre Seven deadly sins
  29. 29. Manipulating the research Lies, damned lies, and statistics
  30. 30. • Asking “loaded” questions • Manipulating the results • Hiding the results • Not actually doing the research Four problems
  31. 31. • Asking “loaded” questions • Manipulating the results • Hiding the results • Not actually doing the research Four problems
  32. 32. Interpreting interrelated questions 1. Was the product information sufficient and relevant? 6/10 2. Was the transaction cost of the products appropriate? 1/10 3. Were you satisfied with the website experience? 5/10
  33. 33. Four problems • Asking “loaded” questions • Manipulating the results • Hiding the results • Not actually doing the research
  34. 34. • Asking “loaded” questions • Manipulating the results • Hiding the results • Not actually doing the research Four problems
  35. 35. • Asking “loaded” questions • Manipulating the results • Hiding the results • Not actually doing the research Four problems
  36. 36. District heating plants in Poland
  37. 37. “Return on Investment is based on historic data. It is a backward-looking metric that yields no insights into how to improve business results in the future.” www.maxi-pedia.com
  38. 38. • Examine the research sources • Ask relevant follow-up questions • Don’t trust client research. Verify it. • Watch out for personal or political agendas • Call bullshit when you see it (diplomatically) What you can do
  39. 39. • Being principled is challenging • There are consequences to your actions • Be gentle if you can • The greater the ethical violation, the harder you need to push • Sometimes, it’s good to get fired Some thoughts on “calling bullshit”
  40. 40. Faking the content Hits and bruises
  41. 41. • Fake testimonials • Fake photos • Misleading metadata • Fake referral sites • Clueless social-media managers What to look out for
  42. 42. Products Green Blue Red Specifications Specifications Specifications Applications Applications References Testimonials Applications References Testimonials References Testimonials
  43. 43. Danske Bank
  44. 44. • Ask yourself if the content is honest • Ask yourself if this is really in the user’s best interests • Ask yourself if this is in the business’s best interests • Don’t force content providers to publish information they cannot provide What you can do
  45. 45. Promoting addiction Digital drugs
  46. 46. • Bait-and-switch techniques – Online casinos • Peer pressure techniques – Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook • Ludomania disguised as entertainment What to look out for
  47. 47. “100 free spins…”
  48. 48. What you can do • There really is only one question you need to ask yourself: – Would I want my children to use this site or app?
  49. 49. Dark patterns Asterisks and after-risks
  50. 50. • Sites that trick you to: – Opt in to something you do not want – Buy something you do not want • Sites that require information they are not entitled to: – Telephone number – Personal details (e.g. gender) What to look out for
  51. 51. • People do not read very carefully • People will often accept that they have been tricked because it takes too long to put things right again Some sad facts
  52. 52. • Bait-and-switch • Disguised ads • Forced continuity • Friend spam • Hidden costs • Misdirection • Price comparison prevention • Private Zuckering • Roach motel • Sneak into basket • Trick questions Some patterns to watch out for
  53. 53. https://darkpatterns.org/
  54. 54. Frequently bought together…
  55. 55. Scarcity Social validation Fear of loss
  56. 56. Sneaky terms and conditions
  57. 57. An exception to the rule
  58. 58. • Make sure the behaviour of your design is not misleading people • Do not trick or cheat people • Keep the user’s needs in focus What you can do
  59. 59. Teamwork trauma Design thinking or design terror?
  60. 60. • Designs that are “flavour of the month” – WordPress – Flat design • Colleagues who do not meet their obligations • Clients and employers who are asking you to bend your personal code of ethics What to look out for
  61. 61. The Czech brothel project
  62. 62. Clive K. Lavery | “Being a Digital Do-gooder”| 27 September, 2016
  63. 63. Clive K. Lavery | “Being a Digital Do-gooder”| 27 September, 2016
  64. 64. • If you are a manager, give your team members and opportunity to opt out • If you are a team member, let your manager know if the projects makes you uncomfortable • Respect any NDAs you have signed • If you make a promise, keep it! What you can do
  65. 65. Offensive AI Tay, Siri, Alexa, and Bixby
  66. 66. • Validate your assumptions • Test your prototypes, apps, and existing sites with real users • Mine the existing data for genuine insights • Check for cultural bias – Racist, religious, and sexist discrimination • Train your algorithm with unbiased data • Monitor your AI bot regularly What you can do
  67. 67. UX theatre Brainstorming and bullshit
  68. 68. https://twitter.com/i/moments/955234060 951048192
  69. 69. • So-called UX projects where no one has actually ever talked to a user • Fake personas • Projects where assumptions are given the same weight as actual research • Team members who exhibit strong cognitive bias • Civil servants and mediocre managers who just want an impressive report, but do not actually want to improve UX What to look out for
  70. 70. The Copenhagen Letter Taking a moral stand
  71. 71. Highland Park High School Math Club 1969
  72. 72. Highland Park High School Math Club 1969
  73. 73. "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." Ken Olsen Founder, Digital Equipment Corp. 1977
  74. 74. TRS-80 1977
  75. 75. Apple II 1977
  76. 76. IBM PC 1981
  77. 77. Apple Macintosh 1984
  78. 78. "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." Ken Olsen Founder, Digital Equipment Corp. 1977 But that was then…
  79. 79. With power comes responsibility…
  80. 80. The Copenhagen Letter Today, over 4,400 people have signed. These aren’t merely Facebook likes. These signatures represent a commitment.
  81. 81. https://copenhagenletter.org/ Join us!
  82. 82. A few parting comments about “tribalism”
  83. 83. commons.wikimedia.org
  84. 84. “In fascism, the idea is that we’re not individual human beings who have thoughts and reflect before we speak, the idea is that we are tribes. And the politics begin with deciding who the enemy is.” Timothy Snyder Historian, Author “The Road to Unfreedom”
  85. 85. “Lock her up!” “Build the wall!” “Fake news!”
  86. 86. “Mobile first!” “Build the app!” “Sprint! Sprint! Sprint! Sprint!”
  87. 87. Tribes exclude. Communities welcome. We live in dangerous times. We can make a difference. The IxDA must remain inclusive!
  88. 88. Bonus material
  89. 89. We didn’t invent this discipline Give credit where credit is due
  90. 90. 50-year-old wearable
  91. 91. 90-year-old A/B test
  92. 92. 150-year-old infographic
  93. 93. 170-year-old sitemap
  94. 94. 220-year-old SEO project
  95. 95. 250-year-old knowledge map
  96. 96. 300-year-old taxonomy
  97. 97. A 400-year-old content inventory
  98. 98. 650-year-old personas
  99. 99. 5000-year-old wireframe
  100. 100. 15000-year-old storyboard
  101. 101. Gestural interfaces - 1935 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kuCSRJcTgY
  102. 102. • You are unique! • You hold incredible power! • You can change the world! Some of you will…and thank goodness for that! A few parting words
  103. 103. Danke!
  104. 104. The FatDUX Group ApS Strandøre 15 2100 Copenhagen Denmark Office: (+45) 39 29 07 07 Mobil: (+45) 20 12 88 44 Twitter: @elreiss er@fatdux.com www.fatdux.com Eric Reiss can (usually) be found at:

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