Data as a new design material: ethical implications on User Experience

Designing with data: an introduction — Patrizia Marti

  1. Data-driven Design is using data to make precise and localized decisions. The most classic example is A/B testing; when developing an interface, doubt may arise about colour, style, and tone of voice. In case of any precise doubt, A/B testing is launched. This typically involves a lot of users, who often do not realize they are part of an experiment and give their preference on one version rather than another. In Data-driven Design, the answer is given by quantitative data.
  2. Data for Design is qualitative/quantitative data, consisting of data from interviews or props. The data are interpreted and creates a narrative, so it is not a purely scientific experiment but a more qualitative domain.
  3. Data-aware Design is a multidisciplinary approach involving designers, data scientists, developers, clients, and business managers actively design systems that directly inform future strategies. A data-aware mindset means that the designer knows what data could be relevant and how it can help solve the problem. Therefore, it is a mindset or ‘philosophy about Design’ rather than a concrete approach.
Illustration from Rochelle King, Elizabeth F. Churchill e Caitlin Tan «Designing with Data: Improving the User Experience with A/B Testing» O’Reilly Media, 2017

Value and Biases

Figure 1: The Racist soap dispenser
Figure 2: The train tracks leading into Auschwitz, which were labelled “sport” by Flickr’s algorithm. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

“First: User orientation is vital; designers have to make systems that really “resonate” with the varied person. Design deals with real people, and we must always be willing to question the solution found, iterating the process. We must anchor Design on a study of behaviour that cannot be based on cold data alone. We must learn to have a socio-cultural reading of the data by empathizing with the real user.

Second: Abandon the “problem solving” approach: today’s solutionist approach to things, to the complexity of the projects we make and the life we live, actually could be more useful if Design, instead of serving solutions, helped us unpack problems to create room for dialogue.” —Patrizia Marti

Participatory Design tools to avoid misuse of data in enterprises — Nicolò Volpato

How can Tangible contribute to Ethical Design? How could it be possible to readjust the tools we use and the mindset with which we do projects?

Responsible gaming through evidence based design — Stefano Basile

We follow an evidence-based approach, we base our design and communication choices on insights we gather from mixed sources, of both qualitative and quantitative nature: we look at data and talk to users.
Stefano Basile, Sisal for Responsible Gaming

User Behaviour and Data Retrieving: a difficult relationship

Artificial Intelligence to foster responsibility in users

Sisal: Responsible games features

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Experience Design Academy

Experience Design Academy

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A polytechnic centre of excellence dedicated to User Experience - by POLIdesign.