Over the past twenty years, user privacy has become merely a commodity on the web: there, but hardly ever respected — and often swiftly discarded. No wonder ad-blockers have gained traction, browsers have introduced tracking protection, and new legislation in form of GDPR and CCPA brought regulations for data collection.
We need to craft better digital products that respect customer’s choices without hurting business KPIs. And we need to do so by taming data collection and abandoning dark patterns, from hidden checkboxes to ambiguous copywriting. How do we get there?
That’s the question we wanted to answer. Meet Ethical Design Handbook, a new Smashing book full of practical techniques and blueprints on how companies ridden with shady practices can shift towards better, sustainable design. Download a free PDF excerpt (1 MB).
About The Book
When we set out to write this book, we wanted to develop a new type of working framework to empower people to practice ethical design in their business, in their teams, and with their products. The reason was simple: too many products we use today have become machines for tricking customers into decisions they never intended to make. That’s not quite the web we want to see around us.
Many business models thrive on ingeniously deceptive and manipulative digital products. Not because they have to; mostly because it has become an accepted norm as everybody else seems to be doing it as well. But what happens when the norm is shattered?
- What happens if you can’t get access to personal data that’s been feeding the machine all this time?
- What if you can’t track customers wandering from one website to another?
- What happens when ad-blocking becomes mainstream and your advertising scripts are dismissed by crafty blockers?
- How should the role and responsibilties of marketing agency team change with new regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA?
- What if your competitors discover an alternative business model way before you do?
- What competitive advantages can your business gain by focusing on privacy and transparency?
The Ethical Design Handbook explores alternative, compliant and sustainable strategies. The book explores how companies and organizations, small and large, can move towards ethical design and become more healthy and profitable along the way. It’s a practical guide for everyone who works with digital products as a designer, developer, product manager, lawyer or in management.
Table Of Contents
The chapter describes the necessity of incorporating ethical design in the way digital businesses run. It also defines some key terms used throughout the book.
1. The need for ethics in design
This section outlines some core consequences of unethical design, and it also explores some of the existing ethical design frameworks and introduces the notion of ethical transformation.
We dive into dark patterns, GDPR and existing ethical solutions. You will understand the challenges we are bound to face when embarking onto an ethical transformation.
#safety #darkpatterns #gdpr #ethicaltransformation
2. Creating positive change
This chapter explores how a positive change can be introduced in companies, teams and processes, including how to challenge decisions, ethical team governance and bridging ethics with risk assessment.
We’ll explore how to use a risk matrix to discover ethical design opportunities and what questions to ask to challenge decisions. You will also learn about the ethical governance model and how to develop one.
#culturalchange #ethicalgovernance #decisions
3. Respect-driven design
This chapter discusses and challenges how to involve users in projects, and it includes guidelines on how to design for the must vulnerable. Finally, it highlights some business perspectives of human-centered design.
You will learn how to integrate human-centered approach into your workflow, and how to involve users more in your work process, as well as core accessibility techniques, and key ways to design with ethics for children.
#hcd #accessibility #children
4. The business of ethical design
Let’s dive into business. We establish why ethical design works as a business concept, and how we can use the traditional ways of measuring success to measure the impact of ethical design.
We’ll learn to use road-map planning, what KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to use for ethical design, and we introduce The Ethical Design Scorecard, a tool to assessing the ethical level of products, business and practices.
#roadmap #KPI #ROIofethics
5. Ethical design best practices
This chapter provides a set of practical guidelines on how to design good cookie disclaimers, and terms and conditions and how to handle data collection ethically. It also provides a set of specific examples of how to design user interfaces with ethical design in mind.
You’ll learn how to move towarads trustworthy design, how to design ethical user interfaces, and the book also provides an extensive amount of blueprints as data models for digital products.
#ethicalUI #cookies #data #datamodels
6. Getting started
We wrap up the content of the book by offering a set of practical tips and specific blueprints to help you get started on your first ethical design project.
In the book, you’ll learn how to:
- Define and explain what ethical design is,
- Justify and prove a business case for ethical decisions,
- Measure and track the impact of ethical design,
- Grow a sustainable business on ethical principles,
- Strike the balance between data collection and ethics,
- Embed ethical design into your workflow,
- Get started with ethical transformation.
368 pages. The eBook is already available (PDF, ePUB, Amazon Kindle). We’ll ship printed copies early March 2020. Written by Trine Falbe, Martin Michael Frederiksen and Kim Andersen.
About The Authors
Trine Falbe is a human-centered UX strategist, designer and teacher who works in the intersection between people and business. Trine is deeply passionate about ethical design and designing for children, and she is also a keynote speaker at conferences and a UX advisor in strategic projects.
As a serial entrepreneur since the very first browser, Martin Michael Frederiksen was born with a practical appreciation for the crossroads between business and digital development. He has published the books Cross Channel and the CEO’s Guide to IT Projects That Cannot Fail. He works as an independent consultant for businesses that need a devil’s advocate when trying out new strategies and ideas.
After training at an international advertising agency, Kim Andersen quickly left print media for digital design. Owing to his amazing memory he always leaves design meetings with an empty notebook, only to attend the following meeting armed with drawings where nothing has been forgotten and everything is drawn in great detail. He owns the digital design studio Onkel Kim, where he can be hired to do design tasks, preferably the most difficult and complex ones where the brain is working overtime.
Community Matters ❤️
With The Ethical Design Handbook, we’ve tried to create a very focused handbook with applicable, long-living solutions and strategies to introduce a positive change in companies ridden with dark patterns and questionable practices.
There is quite a bit of work to do on the web, but our hope is that with this book, you will be equipped with enough tooling to slowly move a company towards a more sustainable and healthy digital footprint.
Producing a book takes quite a bit of time, and we couldn’t pull it off without the support of our wonderful community. A huge shout-out to Smashing Members for their ongoing support in our adventures. As a result, the eBook is and always will be free for Smashing Members. Plus, Members get a friendly discount when purchasing their printed copy.
Stay smashing, and thank you for your ongoing support, everyone!
More Smashing Books
Promoting best practices and providing you with practical tips to master your daily coding and design challenges has always been (and will be) at the core of everything we do at Smashing. In the past few years, we were very lucky to have worked together with some talented, caring people from the web community to publish their wealth of experience as printed books that stand the test of time. Alla, Adam and Heydon are some of these people. Have you checked out their books already?