#ethicalCS: Design, UX/UI

Saber Khan
Mar 23, 2018 · 2 min read

This is part of a series of documents meant support a discussion and investigation of ethics and morals in relation to the impact of computer science on the world at-large. You can find the rest of series here:

Introduction: In this document we will engage with the concept of ethics in design. Here is a helpful way to think about ethics in design:

If ethics is about the question of how to act, and designers help to shape how technologies mediate action, designing should be considered ‘ethics by other means.’

Every technological artefact that is used will mediate human actions, and every act of design therefore helps to constitute moral practices.

(P. P. Verbeek, What Things Do, 2009, p. 69).

This document is generated from the #ethicalCS Twitter chat. You can find the highlights from the chat on Equity and Access here with Alisha Austin, Antionette Carroll, Ariel Kennan, Jonathan Shariat, Farheen Malik, and others.


  1. How do we support and protect vulnerable people when designing products and services?
  2. What practices, processes, and tools can support ethical design?
  3. How and why should we push for ethical design?


  1. Remembering that users are humans and do not try to trick them.
  2. Design with people to reflect diversity, produce justice and make accessible products and services.
  3. Be intentional about co-designing with people of different races, class, gender identities, religious and/or spiritual affiliations, sexual orientation, ability status, etc.
  4. Problem solving in our communities can help us engage in ethical thinking.
  5. Measure outcomes, evaluate impact, and iterate from feedback.
  6. There are different design paradigms, processes, and tools to help designers engage in ethical thinking.
  7. Teams may benefit from appointing a rotating leader to advocate for ethics.
  8. Make a case for ethical thinking with your team and leadership by gathering data, resources, user voices.
  9. Be persistent, wear down doubters, find allies, don’t be afraid of making it political.
  10. Have a good understanding of your biases and engage in diversity, inclusion, and equity training.


Saber Khan

Educator. Email me at mrkhanatndv@gmail.com

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