How to Maintain Ethics in User Experience Design

We live in a hyperconnected world and that has many advantages, such as access to products, services and knowledge that a few years ago would have been almost impossible to achieve. However, it also has many disadvantages, some of which have worrying consequences in the world of design. That’s why today, I want to tell you about the ethics in the design of the user experience.

The hyperconnected world implies that we can reach a very important part of the world population regardless of where we are and where they are from. The competition has multiplied and the fight for the click and for the client is fierce.

In addition, we now have access to a huge amount of data from our buyers: their habits, their tastes, their personal data… it is even possible to know what percentage of battery left in the mobile at all times. This has made possible the appearance of some abusive and unethical practices, as has been demonstrated with some scandals such as Facebook.

Ethics in the design of user experience should be the center of our work

Technology is invading aspects of daily life, and there are even smart refrigerators that make something as simple as the shopping list. This implies that the design can have a huge impact on decisions, decisions that can now be guided in a subtle way through the design of the interface on a screen.

Designers have to face many pressures, increasingly, pressures in terms of economy and deadlines that can push them to take certain shortcuts. However, this should be avoided. How? Always having the user at the center of our work, thinking about their interests, needs and desires, not ours or those of the company.

Promote a positive attitude

With technology having more power over us, it is easy to think that this leads to a dark future, it only takes us to see Black Mirror and the success it has had to prove that there are many people who have that fear. However, technology can and should be a positive force in the development of humanity.

Technology allows us to do things that were previously impossible, and that’s what the design should focus on: making life easier, making everything more accessible and simple. Not in attracting attention to achieve a new client with dirty tricks. Transparent options must be offered and respect the time of the users.

Analyze our actions

The pace of work and life and the pressures mentioned above may cause us to occasionally lose perspective of what we are doing. From time to time we must stop and analyze our work. Is our product taking advantage of human vulnerabilities? Do we take advantage of emotions such as stress or anger? Do we take too much advantage of being permanently available?

We ourselves have spoken several times, “you have to know the tastes of your target audience to offer them what they need”. But be careful, do not abuse it either. Let’s be aware of the impact we are making.

Having an open conversation about the impact of our design on users and how not to abuse our position is one of the few ways we can make sure we are on the right track.