Reigning in the power of design –
the need for ethics in UX

About

Zhivko is a UX designer with a passion for complexity. He has headed UX for BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, and a hedge fund in the city of London and currently consults for BP. He covers the full UX workflow, hand crafting designs from ethnography & ideation to interaction, usability, UI, and front-end. He orchestrates complex experiences for highly specialised, professional users and thrives on big data, low latency, and sophisticated decision making.

 

Reigning in the power of design – the need for ethics in UX

Designing an error message that attracts attention seems like an unquestionably good idea. What if you applied those same skills to draw attention to an ad instead? Or draw attention away from a subscription option? What if you went beyond good old visual design tricks and applied a subtle delay/reward stimulus to subconsciously steer users towards that outcome? And what if you were so good at it and were doing it at such scale that you could channel social attention away from or towards political goals?

With power comes responsibility. As UX designers add more and more powerful methods to our toolbox, design has been abused to deliver value not just to users but other stakeholders as well. A robust discussion on ethics and professional standards is urgently needed if we want to keep the ‘User’ in ‘User Experience’.

 

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