We can't excuse ourselves from responsibility for the things we create simply because we work as part of a team, or because we have bosses and clients telling us what to do. Behind every web page, process, and product are the hands and minds of the designers who planned them. We study users, create scenarios, and develop workflows. We set the mood and fine tune the tone. We design, analyze, and optimize. This is all done to provoke actions from people who have no idea the extent to which each button-press has been planned for. As our influential methods reach further into the disciplines of psychology and behavioral science, we must ask ourselves exactly where the ethical boundary lies between persuasion and manipulation.
The purpose of this talk is not only to inspire you to take your work more personally, but also as a reminder of how important it is. As the hands the shape the digital world, and it's up to us to determine just how radically awesome or terribly sucky it will be.
9th–13th March 2012