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Top 10 Principles of Ethical UX Design | The Ultimate Guide

Navdeep Singh Gill | 28 March 2022

Top 10 Principles of Ethical UX Design

Introduction to User Experience Design

The best designers have a deep understanding of ethical design, making them better than others. Dark UX design is when the Designer creates a design that benefits the organization's interest and does not help users solve the issue with minimum effort.
Instead of harming users' interest with dark patterns, We can build credible products through ethical practices that put users first, Not the short term gains of the organization.

When products or services are confusing, misleading, or suspicious, the user's trust and interest will lose slowly as users interact and explore.

UXD focuses on the user-first way of designing products and satisfaction of the product for the users. Click to explore about, User Experience Design Tools and its Principles

What are the three consideration of ethical UX Design?

The three considerations within the ethical design are listed below:

  • Existential Values: This is the core of our existence as designers and what are our values in the experience we create for users.
  • Misdirected Intent: When we place the user's needs or goals below some other need, a product or service is compromised with ethics. Sometimes it is not the situation that user needs were held back. Instead, There was an attempt to equally weigh the user needs with business needs.
  • Benevolent Intent: This is the state that product teams should target where the intent is to place the user needs first. Even With good design intentions, latent ethical issues still arise.

What is Value-based Design framework?

Design Frameworks defines the product team's direction while creating the products. Design is a highly emotive practice. That's why it deals with Ethics on a deeper level. Ethical design frameworks reduce the distance between the need and the want. One of the major fundamental frameworks is Value Sensitive Design (VSD).

The issue is when product teams think about values and decide to design a product based on those, They don’t know which values they apply? there's? Societal? Cultural? VSD looks great on paper and theoretical practices but is empty in real practice. One more value-based design framework is known as values at Play, and it’s a step deeper in VSD because it’s all about finding out the values of a specific product before its work is initiated. This kind of approach puts values among constraints of a specific context.

UX is the most important building block in software development. Even its priority is higher than User Interface. Click to explore about, User Experience in Software Product Development

What are the 7 elements of Persuasive Design Strategy?

The absence of dynamic changes and the impact of value-sensitive design causes the new form of design — Persuasive Design, which means if there is no way to adapt to the values, we can create our own.

Persuasive design uplifts the role of motivation and purpose behind the product. If the business concerns and growth, the values can be altered to fit that objective. In simple words, a product or service can mould the way people see it by using seven persuasive design techniques:

  • Tailoring: It visual information and knowledge with the help of design is a way to highlight the pointers that lead to persuasion.
  • Tunnelling: It is a way of highlighting an innovative idea and using design to blur the variables around it.
  • Suggestion: Helps incorporate new ideas without forcing them, which helps avoid discarding them.
  • Conditioning: It is a method to moderate and bend the design context to support a specific feature.
  • Reduction: Reduction helps eliminate unnecessary or unwanted details.
  • Surveillance: By violating privacy principles and collecting data to use it for persuasion at multiple levels
  • Self-Monitoring: It is one of the most Authentic persuasive techniques based on empathy.

All of the above techniques are predominantly dark and extremely impactful. All persuasion techniques have cheaper versions, and mostly, those are the ones we likely encounter in day to day products. Those cheaper versions of persuasive design techniques are well known as dark patterns.

A vital step to ensure you design an effective, efficient, and delightful experience for users. Click to explore about, User Experience Testing Tools

Top 10 Principles for Ethical UX Designs

The principles for ethical user experience designs are listed below:

Notify Me

Inform the product or service users every time they are about to be charged or need to pay for something. Notify the users when their subscriptions are ending. Keep the users informed of every action and Automated payments or renewals.

Highlight Negative Information

Do not hide negative information for the sake of business growth. Show the users complete information about any decision they are going to make. All information should be crystal clear. Make sure the user makes a decision with which they are comfortable.

Default selected option that’s safest to the user

Do not preselect the options in form submission. Too many forms auto check the option favourable for business expansion and reach for-ex making an auto select subscription to newsletter etc.

Best Practices over revenue

Adding a feature that is useful to your users more than adding to revenue might affect your business in the short duration, but your users will love you for it in the long duration.

Price transparency

What you see is what you pay. Do not add extra taxes and charges at the time of checkout. It makes the user feel sad and cheated.

Stop Spamming

Do not send spam notifications or unnecessary emails. Respect user time and only send the most essential and required information. And if the notifications are not responded to after a defined period, it’s not doing its job and should be disabled automatically. It’s not doing anyone any good.

Privacy transparency

Stop hiding everything behind a privacy policy.
Suppose the organization gathers valuable information of the user. In that case, the user must be aware of it, and critical information should not be hidden in the documentation that the users do not read.

Honest offers

Do not do fake promotions or distribute fake vouchers that do not provide any value to the users. Be honest with the offerings.

Make it easy as pie to cancel

Permit users to cancel anything they want at any stage. Do not tie the user to perform specific actions like contacting support, sending email, reading faq or chat to cancel anything.

Ask for permission

Ask for user permission and consent before selling user data. Do not be sneaky. Tell users what you’ll be using this permission for, and be honest. Do not take any actions in the background without taking the user's consent.

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Understanding the various ethical issues product teams face is the beginning of building an ethical framework for the UX professional teams. This framework can direct product design teams and organizations to develop products where harm, exploitation, and deception are minimal or do not exist at all. It can also form the basis of a code of ethics - codes and best practices that will help us select and approach design projects and how we decide to work for who and what are personal values.