Watch “The Ethics of Everyday Things” talk with Gabriel White

Conversations about ethics and design often fall victim to two problems:

The first is the hand-waving problem. People talk about ethics in such a vague and aspirational ways that us practitioners have no path to changing the way we work. What use is design ethics if I can’t use it to affect my everyday decision-making?

The second is the “save the world” problem. The only worthwhile problems are those that have obviously good outcomes, such as improving health or education, reducing poverty or gender inequality. But there just aren’t enough of these kind of jobs to go around. What use is ethics if I can’t access the work required to put it into practice?

Designers are well familiar with using toolkits (patterns, heuristics, and so on). These are clear, actionable and flexible tools that help inform decision-making as we do our work. Why can’t it be the same for ethics?

We need to create tools that help designers exercise moral judgement in their day-to-day work (especially for those who don’t particularly care about ethics).

In this talk at IxDA‘s Interaction’19, Gabriel White argues why he believes that it’s possible to frame design ethics in a way that’s both actionable AND accessible, and that will allow all kinds of designers to bring ethical conversations and judgements into the work of everyday design.

The Ethics of Everyday Things

About Gabriel White

Gabriel White is the founder and principal consultant at Small Surfaces, an international human-centred design consultancy focused on social impact projects in developing countries. Gabriel works on projects that seek to improve education, healthcare and access to financial services for low-income people across Africa, Asia and the Pacific. He also has a degree in Philosophy.

Source: The Ethics of Everyday Things – Interaction 19 – 3-8 February 2019 • Seattle, WA

Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as Lead Product Design Strategist at SAP and promotes User Experience Design as visiting lecturer at Köln International School of Design. Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar Medeiros has helped truly global companies in several countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, United Arab Emirates, United States) create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he championed the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai

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