Ethical design is the answer to some of social media’s problems

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Ethical design is the answer to some of social media’s problems

In most scenarios, the greatest drawbacks of technologies such as social media platforms are failures of designs. There is often a dissociation between the intent of a product or feature created by digital designers and how consumers use or interpret it.

Ethical user experience design is defined as the designing of technologies in way that drive good online behaviour and apprehend how they might be utilised, which may benefit in bridging the gap.

For instance, the outburst over Twitter’s blue verification tick is an exemplar illustration of the disconnect between business intent and user interpretation. The Twitter community has adapted the tick as a representation of an endorsement of a Twitter user and their tweets, or a VIP status symbol to exhibit power and recognition. On the contrary, the company pointed out that the intent of the tick is to authenticate or protect the statements of high-profile users who are susceptible to identity theft.

This confusion had led to criticisms among Twitter users who alleged Twitter of endorsing white supremacists who spread hate speech on the platform. The intent of this application has developed gradually within the Twitter community through collective action and opinion, and it is more effective than the formal explanation released by Twitter. However, the public continues to urge Twitter to rethink its user verification process.

User experience design and research mainly focused on the designing of tech that is responsive to user needs and locations. However, digital designers and tech companies are gradually acknowledging the importance of the ethical aspect in their work, and their they have some social responsibility for the well-being of their users. Meeting this responsibility demands designers to foresee the meanings people might create in relation to certain technologies.

Source: The Conversation

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