When does good User Experience become evil?

The Moral Ambiguity of User Experience

When I came across an article by Adobe on ‘The Morality of Manipulation’ I started to think about it more. It opened my eyes to the idea that as a designer it is my job to consider the impact of my design.

As Tobias Van Schnider says in his article ‘Did Hitler have great designers? Can good design be bad design?’; “The role as a designer, or even as an engineer has become more influential and powerful than ever. The work we do makes an impact and naturally brings up the discussion around ethics, responsibility, and accountability.”

How much influence is acceptable for designers to employ on end-users?

nngroup.com describes user experience as ‘encompassing all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.

Jakob Nielsen’s ’10 general principles for interaction design’  are also known as ‘heuristics’. They are taken as general guidelines on how designers can ensure the usability of their design is good and consistent. These ten heuristics are:

  1. Visibility of system status.
  2. Match between system and the real world.
  3. User control and freedom.
  4. Consistency and standards.
  5. Error prevention.
  6. Recognition rather than recall.
  7. Flexibility and efficiency of use.
  8. Aesthetic and minimalist design.
  9. Error recovery.
  10. Help and documentation.

When understood and applied correctly these principles can be the only thing a designer needs to create a good user experience.

Read the full article.