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Ethics and IA: A Scenario Creation Tool for Ethical Design

How can we know if we're designing ethically? What unintended consequences could result from our decisions? What can we do to maximize good and minimize harm in digital product design?

These urgent questions were addressed over 4 days at the Academics and Practioners Roundtable at the 2018 IA Summit. One result was the development of a prototype for guiding teams in incorporating ethical design into their products. Stacy Surla walks through the tool and test its usefulness in an interactive session at the September UXDC meetup.

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Ethics and IA: A Scenario Creation Tool for Ethical Design

  1. 1. Scenario Creation Tool for Ethical Design A Lightning Talk Information Architecture Meetup | UXDC 9/20/18 Washington, D.C. Stacy Merrill Surla stacysurla@metametrics.com
  2. 2. 1We Need to Design Ethically
  3. 3. Getty Images
  4. 4. Peter Morville B.J. FoggTerence Fenn & Jason Hobbs Vladimir Zwass The Ethics of Information Architecture (2000) As information architects, we are shaping the collaborative work spaces and social environments of tomorrow. Are we willing to take responsibility for the shapes we shape? Keynote, IA Summit (2005) Whether we like it or not, we are all in the business of influencing people's thoughts and behaviors… The stakes are higher now than ever before. Wicked Ethics in Design (2015) [I]s it possible that a design could be successful but not good? Ethical Issues in Information Systems (2010) [W]e should use ethical principles and codes of ethics to avoid and prevent deleterious effects of technology.
  5. 5. The creation will always carry its maker’s name. And outlive him [or her]. Mike Monteiro Design’s Lost Generation (2018) 1931 Frankenstein
  6. 6. [W]e should use ethical principles and codes of ethics to avoid and prevent deleterious effects of technology. Vladimir Zwass Ethical Issues in Information Systems (2010) Thomas Hawk
  7. 7. 2We’re Working on Tools for Ethical Design
  8. 8. Academics’ and Practitioners’ Roundtable reframe-ia.org Ren Pope
  9. 9. Academics’ and Practitioners’ Roundtable reframe-ia.org Stacy Surla
  10. 10. NO Survey of philosophical frameworks and ethical principles Thorough explanation of the tool and how to apply it YES What you will and won’t get at tonight’s talk Enough of an overview to start including ethical design in your toolkit Reference materials to get you grounded and engaged
  11. 11. 3The Scenario Creation Tool for Ethical Design
  12. 12. Use Case Value Value Value Value Scenario Creation Tool for Ethical Design Arturo Pérez, Jackie Wolf, Shelley Cook, Jeff Pass, Stacy Surla Synthesis Maximize good Minimize harm PURPOSE Outcomes integrated into the solution Synthesis A problem requiring a design solution Use Case "How do I know if I’m designing ethically?” An output of the 2018 Ethics & IA Academics’ and Practitioners’ Roundtable reframe-ia.org Standards that guide us in action Values All entities affected by the Use Case Actors Actor Actor Actor
  13. 13. Use Case Privacy Accuracy Property Access Community Stakeholders Shareholders Scenario Creation Tool for Ethical Design Arturo Pérez, Jackie Wolf, Shelley Cook, Jeff Pass, Stacy Surla Synthesis Maximize good Minimize harm PURPOSE WHAT IF? • Hypothesize • Design • Test A problem requiring a design solution Use Case "How do I know if I’m designing ethically?” IDENTIFY • Harms • Goods • Research Needs Standards that guide us in action Values The example uses Richard Mason’s PAPA model. You can use any appropriate value set. All entities affected by the Use Case Actors To design ethically, consider impact to the most vulnerable first, the client last. Community Stakeholders Shareholders Outcomes integrated into the solution Synthesis An output of the 2018 Ethics & IA Academics’ and Practitioners’ Roundtable reframe-ia.org
  14. 14. Use Case Privacy Accuracy Property Access Community Stakeholders Shareholders Scenario Creation Tool for Ethical Design Arturo Pérez, Jackie Wolf, Shelley Cook, Jeff Pass, Stacy Surla Synthesis Maximize good Minimize harm PURPOSE A problem requiring a design solution Use Case "How do I know if I’m designing ethically?” Standards that guide us in action Values The example uses Richard Mason’s PAPA model. You can use any appropriate value set. All entities affected by the Use Case Actors To design ethically, consider impact to the most vulnerable first, the client last. Community Stakeholders Shareholders WHAT IF? • Hypothesize • Design • Test IDENTIFY • Harms • Goods • Research Needs Outcomes integrated into the solution Synthesis An output of the 2018 Ethics & IA Academics’ and Practitioners’ Roundtable reframe-ia.org
  15. 15. 4Building a Scenario
  16. 16. Your company is tasked with designing the next generation public registry of sex offenders. You're leading the team that will design and deliver the system. Use Case - Sex Offender Registry
  17. 17. Definitions ACTORS Privacy What info must one reveal, and what can be kept to oneself? Who's responsible? How will an injured party be made whole? Who owns the info? What are the rights of access? Consumers, and those directly and indirectly affected by the design Those who perform the work, were consulted, or have a stake in it Whoever paid for the work or owns the output VALUES Accuracy Access Property Shareholders Stakeholders Community
  18. 18. 1. Brainstorm potential negative consequences of building the system for each of the actors. 2. Consider ways to address the consequences – for instance to maximize good, minimize harm. 3. Outline a scenario that reflects one or more consequences for the actors. 4. Storyboard and present your scenario. 5. Repeat for multiple scenarios. How-To (The Full Instructions)
  19. 19. Lightning Exercise - 5 mins Identify key actors in each category Community Stakeholders Shareholders Get into pairs
  20. 20. Lightning Exercise - 5 mins Choose an actor and one of the values Actor Value Brainstorm negative consequences of the system for that actor with respect to that value
  21. 21. Lightning Exercise - 5 mins Choose an actor and one of the values Actor Value Brainstorm negative consequences of the system for that actor with respect to that value
  22. 22. 1. Brainstorm potential negative consequences of building the system for each of the actors. 2. Consider ways to address the consequences – for instance to maximize good, minimize harm. 3. Outline a scenario that reflects one or more consequences for the actors. 4. Storyboard and present your scenario. 5. Repeat for multiple scenarios. The Next Steps Would Be…
  23. 23. 5What Did We Learn?
  24. 24. References Ethics and Information Architecture, http://reframe-ia.org/ Four Ethical Issues of the Information Age, Richard Mason, http:// moodle.ncku.edu.tw/pluginfile.php/848770/mod_resource/content/1/ mason_PAPA.pdf The Ethics and Politics of Information Architecture, Andrea Resmini, https:// www.slideshare.net/resmini/the-ethics-and-politics-of-information-architecture Ethical Issues in Information Systems, Vladimir Zwass, http://reframe-ia.org/ EthicalIssuesinInformationSystems-Zwass.pdf Stacy Merrill Surla stacysurla@metametrics.com

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