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RUX May - The Ethics of UX: Empathy or Exploitation?

  • May 28, 2014 · 6:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

This month, we are trying something new: a book club without a book. There will still be a reading assignment, and we are still planning on a lively and engaging discussion, but we will be asking you to read a few articles rather than a book. To give credit where it’s due, we are adapting this idea from IxDA Boston’s April event on ethics and UX (we have kept two of their articles but added our own).

The Ethics of User Experience: Empathy or Exploitation?

Given our empathy for and understanding of the user for whom we are designing, how do we leverage that knowledge responsibly? Can we design experiences that generate value for our stakeholders while still serving the best interests of their audience? Is there really a dilemma?

At our May meetup, we will discuss the ethics of user-centered design and the User Experience. As food for thought, we ask that you arrive having read the following four articles:

Towards an Ethics of Persuasion by Stephen P. Anderson
https://uxmag.com/articles/towards-an-ethics-of-persuasion

The Ethics of User Experience by Bill M. Gribbons
http://www.bentley.edu/impact/articles/ethics-user-experience

Ethical Breakdowns by Max H. Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel
http://hbr.org/2011/04/ethical-breakdowns/ar/1

Ethical Design by Ashley Karr
http://www.ashleykarr.com/1/post/2014/04/ethical-design.html

Richmond UX Planning Committee Member Hope Norman will facilitate the discussion. Since we’d like folks to engage and interact, we are limiting this month's event to 20 attendees. If this subject piques your interest, you may want to check out the following links as well (though they are not “required reading”):

Design with Intent: How designers can influence behavior by Robert Fabricant
http://designmind.frogdesign.com/articles/power/design-with-intent.html

User Experience’s Dark Side Raises Ethical Stakes by Jim Griesemer
http://interactivemedia.org/the-dark-side-of-user-experience/

The Perils of Persuasion by Cennydd Bowles
http://www.cennydd.co.uk/2010/the-perils-of-persuasion

Is there a UX practitioner's code of conduct/ethics guide
http://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/56332/is-there-a-ux-practitioners-code-of-conduct-ethics-guide

Join or login to comment.

  • Chris E.

    Speaking of ethics, you probably heard of the recent FB experiment. I think this example is clearly unethical as it's manipulating facts to alter someone's emotional state. "Facebook Scientists Alter Newsfeeds, Find Emotions Are Affected By It http://n.pr/1nRuvlE "

    June 29, 2014

  • Miles G.

    We had a diverse group, which made the discussion very interesting.

    1 · May 29, 2014

  • Eric A.

    Ditto on not being able to make it. Ughhh. Once again I'm under deadline. Feel free to open the spot for someone else.

    May 28, 2014

  • Mark H.

    also unable to join due to a conflict - pls open it up to someone else on the wait list.

    May 28, 2014

    • Mark B.

      Done. Thank you for letting us know!

      May 28, 2014

  • Hope N.

    Folks, these articles are fantastic - if you haven't started reading yet, get moving! Also, be sure to think of some examples of the ethical grey-zone from your own experience.

    May 27, 2014

  • Mark B.

    Those of you on the waiting list: please do go ahead with the reading. If past events are any indication, some folks who are currently committed to attend will need to change their RSVP as the date approaches. Plus, the articles are a good read anyway. :-)

    May 15, 2014

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