New technologies have always produced unintended consequences. But user experience (UX) designers and engineers face a number of new ethical challenges today with the rise of technology and our interaction and dependence on it.
UX designers’ primary job is to improve usability and extend productivity. But they also have a responsibility to address the unintended consequences of new technologies, some of them with a clear ethical dimension. Following is a look at some of the principle ethical quandaries that UX designers will run up against and must deal with responsibly.
Human costs and de-valuing work
So much of the UX discipline’s early efforts were driven by the desire to improve human performance and productivity while reducing errors. Few questioned the value of these gains, achieved by optimizing system design, augmenting human ability, and automation, especially as it eliminated dangerous, repetitive, or tedious work – think of assembly line factory jobs that in…
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