Design for impulse & Behavior Economics

8 Dec 2008 - 4:17pm
5 years ago
19 replies
1614 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

Hey there,

Robert Fabricant of frog design write this nice piece on an designing to
change behavior.

http://designmind.frogdesign.com/blog/design-for-impulse.html

The topic of behavior economics is important, and one I know I haven't
thought nearly enough about (despite being mentioned in the article). What
do people think about this in our domain as IxDers?

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

Comments

8 Dec 2008 - 4:27pm
david.shaw6@gma...
2004

Hey David,
Wow, I'm glad we're finally discussing this! Yes, I do think as Interaction
Designers we should be influencing behavior to the betterment of society.
In fact, this almost dovetails into what Eli Blevis talks about
(sustainable interaction design). Dave, I think you have a real opportunity
here as you move into your role at SCAD.

David

On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 1:17 PM, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey there,
>
> Robert Fabricant of frog design write this nice piece on an designing to
> change behavior.
>
> http://designmind.frogdesign.com/blog/design-for-impulse.html
>
> The topic of behavior economics is important, and one I know I haven't
> thought nearly enough about (despite being mentioned in the article). What
> do people think about this in our domain as IxDers?
>
> -- dave
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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>

--
"Making peoples lives easier daily... since 1969"

w: http://spinjunkey.wordpress.com

8 Dec 2008 - 4:44pm
SemanticWill
2007

Nice find!
As interaction designers - we actually have more influence over behavior,
and can at least design for desired behaviors in the user's interactions
with the system - I am thinking most specifically about when Porter
discusses in his book the reputation and rewards system employed by Yelp's
IxD which informs, encourages, and guides certain behaviors while
deminishing others. This was also done by Digg - which removed their hall of
fame, and today you noticed a designers desire to provide a platform by
which to engage in some level of sociality when you got pelted on facebook
with snow balls and then kvetched about it on twitter :-)

Must grab a bite to eat, but will read the article later this evening.

On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 4:27 PM, David Shaw <david.shaw6 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey David,
> Wow, I'm glad we're finally discussing this! Yes, I do think as
> Interaction
> Designers we should be influencing behavior to the betterment of society.
> In fact, this almost dovetails into what Eli Blevis talks about
> (sustainable interaction design). Dave, I think you have a real
> opportunity
> here as you move into your role at SCAD.
>
> David
>
> On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 1:17 PM, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hey there,
> >
> > Robert Fabricant of frog design write this nice piece on an designing to
> > change behavior.
> >
> > http://designmind.frogdesign.com/blog/design-for-impulse.html
> >
> > The topic of behavior economics is important, and one I know I haven't
> > thought nearly enough about (despite being mentioned in the article).
> What
> > do people think about this in our domain as IxDers?
> >
> > -- dave
> >
> > --
> > David Malouf
> > http://synapticburn.com/
> > http://ixda.org/
> > http://motorola.com/
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>
>
> --
> "Making peoples lives easier daily... since 1969"
>
> w: http://spinjunkey.wordpress.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8 Dec 2008 - 5:07pm
Steve Baty
2009

Dave,

Interesting article: thanks for sharing it with us.

Designing for behavioural change is a central consideration in the UX
strategy work I do, but I haven't really paid enough attention to the
aggregate effect of lots of individual changes in behaviour, and how to
design for the resulting impact. It's a step in my thinking that occurs at a
tacit level (I believe), but isn't often communicated explicitly to those
around me, and so loses a lot of the desired strength in the final design.
Because I'm not really thinking about that aspect of the design consciously,
I don't identify that as the cause of any dissatisfaction; it's something
that should be an explicit design goal.

Thanks again
Steve

2008/12/9 Will Evans <will at semanticfoundry.com>

> Nice find!
> As interaction designers - we actually have more influence over behavior,
> and can at least design for desired behaviors in the user's interactions
> with the system - I am thinking most specifically about when Porter
> discusses in his book the reputation and rewards system employed by Yelp's
> IxD which informs, encourages, and guides certain behaviors while
> deminishing others. This was also done by Digg - which removed their hall
> of
> fame, and today you noticed a designers desire to provide a platform by
> which to engage in some level of sociality when you got pelted on facebook
> with snow balls and then kvetched about it on twitter :-)
>
> Must grab a bite to eat, but will read the article later this evening.
>

--
Steve 'Doc' Baty | Principal Consultant | Meld Consulting | P: +61 417 061
292 | E: stevebaty at meld.com.au | Twitter: docbaty

Blog: http://docholdsfourth.blogspot.com
Contributor - UXMatters - www.uxmatters.com
UX Book Club: http://uxbookclub.org/ - Read, discuss, connect.

8 Dec 2008 - 5:23pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Fabricant begins his article by asserting that interaction design is
central to solving the major issues facing our society today. I
agree, but it's tough to reconcile with a community of practice who
overwhelmingly limit themselves to the digital realm and deny the
problems Fabricant describes as legitimate areas of inquiry.

Transformation design is a better model for designers who are
interested in large scale behavioral change. It's a nascent
discipline being pioneered in the UK by Hilary Cottam from the Design
Council and now at Participle, and to an extent by IDEO in the US.

// jeff

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8 Dec 2008 - 7:38pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Jeff, I think my gut feel was really similar to yours.
I do have to say though that about 4 years ago when I was considering
going to Pratt for my masters in ID, I took some time out to do an
information interview with a local ID now interactive design agency
principal, John Payne (you listening?), and I remember something
striking about the conversation.

He said that most of the work he was doing was less about designing
interactive systems (at their core, though at their skin they look
that way) but were more about organizational change.

I took that conversation and especially that piece to heart and have
seen that most of the product design I have done since then has
definitely had a behavioral change component to it.

When Robert pointed out the article to me, I read it right away and
my reply to him was that his definition of behavior economics really
resonated with me in terms of Captology and Persuasion Technology as
talked about by BJ Fogg. I think it is different in that Robert is
talking about group change at a macro level and BJ seems to be
concentrating more at the micro interactions we make and affecting
change there. The principles though seem to resonate.

Jeff, I know you do a lot of thinking about Service Design. One of
the things I hear from the cloud surounding service design is that it
is heavily informed from interaction design and many want to place it
under the same banner if we make interaction design fully
technologically agnostic (despite what you accurately describe about
our core practice). Would Transformational Design then also fall
under this larger banner of IxD? Is it even worth having a large
banner at all?

I'm very much in favor of narrow IxD for the same reasons I have
spouted on the IAI list that I"m for narrow IA. The one thing that
helps me keep IxD narrowly defined for myself is that I'm always
looking at it as a cog that gets integrated into part of a whole when
needed to fit the right contexts of design problems. So I can see how
the medium of service can use IxD, and Visual Design, and Wayfinding
and IA (and others) towards achieving a result the same way that
Product Design takes IxD, Visual Design and Industrial Design towards
creating a 3D manufactured product.

Basically, I see IxD as a element that works across many different
mediums. Some design topics speak of the medium of the result and
others speak of the elements that can be used across mediums
(sometimes).

Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts around IxD and Service Design and
thank you for introducing the topic of Transformation Design. On the
latter topic, do you have a case study by Hilary or IDEO that was
really about a transformation? Is the frog design HIV testing project
a sample of that?

-- dave

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9 Dec 2008 - 12:55am
Jeff Howard
2004

One of the best overviews of transformation design is RED's 2006 call
to action. The PDF is available here:

http://www.designcouncil.info/mt/RED/transformationdesign/

It includes four case studies: diabetes care, supply chain
management, the Mayo Clinic SPARC initiative and a rural transport
project.

As for service design, it's true that the discipline is strongly
influenced by a cadre of methods and practitioners from interaction
design. Transformation design is closely associated with service
design but seems a little more eclectic. Participle for example
integrates designers with policy experts, anthropologists,
economists, entrepreneurs, psychologists, social scientists, and
operations/logistics experts.

Here are two interviews that cover Participle's work:

Fast Company
http://tinyurl.com/6rkl2y

Mark Vanderbeeken
http://tinyurl.com/6pr5ox

I don't know as much about IDEO's transformation practice, but if I
remember correctly, there's an essay by Peter Coughlan and Ilya
Prokopoff in the book Managing as Designing. My take is that they're
more concerned with organizational change than public policy, but that
could stem from differences within the political environment.

Both service design and transformation design are part of a broader
focus on human interaction; I can see them each as facets of
interaction design, though service designers are becoming weary of
discussing the taxonomic distinctions and transformation designers
have never cared about having that conversation at all.

// jeff

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9 Dec 2008 - 3:03am
Greg Petroff
2004

FYI,

Robert Fabricant is one of our Session Speakers at
interaction'09|vancouver in February. I for one look forward to
hearing his talk.

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9 Dec 2008 - 3:59am
Andy Polaine
2008

Thanks for that - it's a great article and plugs into quite a lot of
the service design thinking I've been doing more recently.

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9 Dec 2008 - 8:14am
SemanticWill
2007

("Fabricant begins his article by asserting that interaction design central
to solving the major issues facing our society today") but the blog post
suffers from an unbearable lightness of being, and provides scant example of
places where interaction design and behavioral economics intersect to solve
problems and ends with an example that is all social psychology (the fact
that the virginity pledges/ring exchange campaign is a dismal failure at
achieving positive/longterm/real results - but this thing while interesting,
has no tie-in to interaction design. While I applaud a few people that are
pulling from social psych/behavioral econ to inform design and write
significant'y about it (Bryce on rep systems, Porter in his book, Adrian
Chan in Everything he writes), this blog post wasn't an informative one. No
there - there.

On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 5:23 PM, Jeff Howard <id at howardesign.com> wrote:

> Fabricant begins his article by asserting that interaction design is
> central to solving the major issues facing our society today. I
> agree, but it's tough to reconcile with a community of practice who
> overwhelmingly limit themselves to the digital realm and deny the
> problems Fabricant describes as legitimate areas of inquiry.
>
> Transformation design is a better model for designers who are
> interested in large scale behavioral change. It's a nascent
> discipline being pioneered in the UK by Hilary Cottam from the Design
> Council and now at Participle, and to an extent by IDEO in the US.
>
> // jeff
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36296
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8 Dec 2008 - 4:45pm
Anonymous

That's an interesting piece - 'Design for Impulse' is another variation to
reference!

I've been researching what I call 'Design with Intent' (
http://architectures.danlockton.co.uk/what-is-design-with-intent/ ) for a
few years now, more recently (for my PhD at Brunel in London) focused on
influencing more sustainable use of products and systems (
http://architectures.danlockton.co.uk/design-for-sustainable-behaviour/ )
rather than health issues, but many of the same techniques can be applied
(and that's an important part of the research). The basic message is: "*We
know that design influences behavior, so lets's try and do something good
with that*."

We're trying to develop a method for helping designers choose which
techniques are most applicable to which kinds of desired behavior change,
and which type of approach (enabling/motivating/constraining behavior) is
most likely to succeed in different contexts. Compare also the work of BJ
Fogg and others working on Persuasive Technology' as a discipline -
http://captology.stanford.edu/

It's clear that behavioral economics, specifically a deeper understanding of
cognitive biases and heuristics, can be immensely important for designing
interactions and understanding how to influence users. Richard Thaler calls
this 'choice architecture' (
http://architectures.danlockton.co.uk/2008/06/10/nudges-and-the-power-of-choice-architecture/)
but in a sense it's what designers of many stripes have been doing for
years. We all know that placing some item at eye level makes it more likely
that people will choose it; we put chairs round a table if we intend that
people sit down; we (not always!) make sure a handle has the perceived
affordance of a handle if we want people to pull it.

Yet as a principle - obvious as it is - it's not often taught explicitly to
designers or architects (or human factors engineers / ergonomists, for whom
it really could be a fundamental part of the profession). Buckminster Fuller
understood this - *"I made up my mind... that I would never try to reform
man — that's much too difficult. What I would do was to try to modify the
environment in such a way as to get man moving in preferred directions" -
but it's *quite rare to hear it expressed formally as part of a design
course.

This seems maybe a good time to announce a new discussion group - Design and
Behavior (http://designandbehavior.com ) - to fellow IxDA members - myself
and Debra Lilley from Loughborough University, set it up last month and we
have about 100 members so far who are working in this kind of field of
examining how the design of systems influences user behavior, and how this
knowledge might be applied for social benefit. I was holding off on
announcing it here until we had a few more discussions going, but please,
anyone who's interested, feel free to have a look or get involved.

Thanks Dave for bringing this up - if you *do* intend to include this sort
of stuff on your course, I'd be happy to help!

Best wishes
Dan Lockton

_________________________________________________________________
Dan Lockton MPhil BSc(Hons) FRSA | Cleaner Electronics Research Group
Brunel Design | Brunel University | London | UB8 3PH |
http://danlockton.co.uk

9 Dec 2008 - 1:17pm
sgmitch
2008

Just this weekend I was chatting about Thanksgiving travel experiences
with friends, and I was confronted with an example of interaction
design affecting group behavior. I heard story after story of people
battling over the right/ability to recline their seats during the
flight, and the fairly extreme behavior of people who did NOT want
the seat in front of them to recline.

It seems to me that airplane interiors designed to fit in as many
seats as possible plus the potential interaction of the seat recline
is an experience engineered to turn the passengers into (passive)
aggressive territorial jerks. I don't have a solution in mind, but
I'm sure that some good IxD work could be done to improve in-flight
behavior.

-Sarah Mitchell

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9 Dec 2008 - 5:43pm
Michael Micheletti
2006

This article made me think of unintended consequences. For example, Bruce
Schneier wrote in his book Beyond Fear how the increase in secure car
ignitions (that can't be hardwired) led to an increase in the number of
carjackings in Russia. In this case, the immediate design outcome was to
make the car's ignition more secure, but the impact seems to endanger the
car's occupants.

Michael Micheletti

On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 1:17 PM, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey there,
>
> Robert Fabricant of frog design write this nice piece on an designing to
> change behavior.
>
> http://designmind.frogdesign.com/blog/design-for-impulse.html
>
> The topic of behavior economics is important, and one I know I haven't
> thought nearly enough about (despite being mentioned in the article). What
> do people think about this in our domain as IxDers?
>
> -- dave
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

11 Dec 2008 - 3:37pm
Anonymous

The article does not pay enough respect to other fields that focus
specifically on behavior change management - i.e., public health,
change managment, psychology, etc. I also agree that supporting
arguments are too scarce to support the author's main argument, that
Interaction design can solve the world's problems. Finally, I don't
see the topics in the title fully reflected in the body of the
article.

As far as domain of IxD, I can see that it fits in, but that's based
on my own opinion not the author's paper. I wouldn't go so far to
define IxD by behavioral economics or behavior change, and I see
defining IxD by Behavioral Economics as limiting as defining IxD as
strictly living in the digital domain. However, I would say that
attention to human behavior is a part of the definition of IxD, even
if it's in my own little world.

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11 Dec 2008 - 5:32pm
Joe Sokohl
2004

I guess I'm in the minority on this and design for sustainability.

I think interaction designers should design interactions that meet
the goals and needs of the users for whom the interaction is
designed. Somehow, there's an imperious political bent that seems to
come out in some threads--"Resistance is futile," so to say.

While my personal values support environmental approaches, I don't
think I have the right to impose my values on users. If I discover
that my users' goals include sving the planet, then designing
interaciton that supports those goals is appropriate...otherwise,
it's not.

I don't think I'm really expressing myself in print here as well as
I should (sorry), but I'm just a little concerned by statements such
as "I strongly believe that interaction design is central to solving
the major issues facing our society today (this is probably no
surprise coming from an Interaction Designer). Large scale challenges
like the environment and healthcare can only be addressed if we can
positively influence personal behavior on a large scale in a
sustainable way."

Quite frankly, I strongly disagree. We have no right to impose our
values on our users, our clients, our customers as part of our design
activities--unless these activities help users meet THEIR goals, not
mine.

I hope my sentiment isn't too politically incorrect (though it
probably is) :(

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11 Dec 2008 - 5:45pm
Dan Lockton
2008

Joe - I know what you're saying, and it's something I've considered quite a
lot.

But what do you think in cases where users' goals/needs really *could* align
with an environmentally beneficial perspective, assuming they realise it?
E.g. no user wants to spend more on energy, but the design of consumer
products often makes it easy to waste electricity for no benefit to the
user. Things on standby often draw significant current even though many
people assume that "it's just that LED that's being powered".

If a system can be redesigned to make it easier for users to understand
what's going on, and how they can use less electricity, then they benefit *
and* the environment benefits. It needn't necessarily be an
ideological/political thing at all: it could just be that a more efficient
interaction behaviour helps both user and 'society' as a whole. Just as,
say, improving the usability of medical equipment to reduce the likelihood
of error helps both patients and medical staff, by making their jobs easier.

I see that as a fundamental aspect of the whole field of design to influence
behaviour: if you can align users' needs with the 'other' intentions of the
system, then 'success' is much more likely...

Dan

12 Dec 2008 - 4:57pm
Anonymous

I see teaching a person to use less electricity and designing a
product to use less electricity as two different things. In the 2nd
case, I don't need to change my behavior - now, running the
hairdryer and the vacuum don't short my system.

I just don't see how interaction designers can, with confidence,take
it upon themselves to overcome the major challenges of society. Why
would an interaction designer know more about the challenges of
society than, say, the people we elect to solve those problems for
us?

I'm not saying that collaboration isn't possible, and maybe that
was the author's point. I just didn't read that part.

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12 Dec 2008 - 6:08pm
Marijke Rijsberman
2004

>I just don't see how interaction designers can, with confidence,take
>it upon themselves to overcome the major challenges of society.

Interesting discussion. I think we can take it as a given that we're not
doing much, as a profession, to curb waste and needless consumption. Quite
the opposite, in fact. I would think this is because, for the most part,
we're hired by companies that want to encourage consumption--of their own
product or service, that is--with little regard for sustainability.

If there were significant incentives to decouple economic growth from
resource and energy use, I bet all of a sudden we would take it upon
ourselves to contribute to solutions to the challenges of society. And I'm
sure we'd get pretty knowledgeable pretty quickly.

marijke

Marijke Rijsberman
http://www.interfacility.com
http://landfill.wordpress.com

12 Dec 2008 - 7:50pm
Anonymous

Maybe the article wasn't about IxDers changing all aspects of
society. It's just that the article didn't read that way, so I was
going off of what I read.

I agree that "IxDers - when they are empowered to do so, should
consider knowledge and understanding from these fields related to
social pysch and behavioral economics to guide and shape, perhaps
even to influence positive outcomes but only within the context of
the product, service, solution they are actually designing." But I
also think that no matter how much I believe in a cause, I cannot
force anyone to do something they don't want to do. Period.

Maybe a good example for the article could have been the use of
"micro-" donations for the 2008 election, (assuming anyone wanted
to participate in the 2008 election in the first place). I agree with
the example of reputation systems, too, but that also assumes that
people want to actively contribute positively to their community.

I also see that many people reading this list have a personal passion
for sustainability (or some other social issue), and that's fine but
it shouldn't necessarily require that everyone else in the
profession feel the same way. So, maybe the entire IxD profession
isn't currently doing much now to address sustainable issues, for
instance. But does it really needs to? Because, whether or not it
does shouldn't stop individuals from expressing themselves when they
can and it's appropriate.

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12 Dec 2008 - 8:59pm
susandoran
2010

David Malouf...great, provocative post.

OK...this is what I believe in: Design to empower people. Design to
encourage and allow people to question. Design to encourage
mindfulness of self. Design to encourage, teach, and reward critical
thinking. Design to allow people to see there are choices...that
there are always choices. Design to encourage non-lemming-like
behaviors. Design to reward people for being themselves and thinking
in their own unique ways. Design to help people understand their
impacts on others and the environment. Design to create comfort
around the existence of negative capability, ambiguity, complexity
and "not knowing." Design in ways that reward finding that
there's almost never one "right" answer and to distrust claims of
absolute correctness. Design to communicate divergence from any
groupthink is ok. Design to convey it's more important to their
gut, instincts, and passions rather than someone on twitter. Design
to show that we're all different, and we're all connected. Design
unashamedly with love and inspire love in others.

That is what I'm a zealot about.

It's none of my business (or concern) what precisely somebody
believes, or what they do with their highly functioning brain and
heart. My work is done if people are more mindful after interacting
with something I've designed than beforehand. If they're smarter.
If their awareness of choices is greater, rather than narrowed. If
they don't feel duped, or helpless, or hapless, or less important.
If they're willing to take a chance on something scary, and be a
little bit more ok with doing so.

I don't believe the concept of choice architect is literally about
placing multi-grain organic crackers on central shelves rather than
Cheez Whiz. The point, as I see it, is to be mindful of choices
we're making as designers -- to know with every breath and with
every decision that our decisions are NOT value neutral -- they are
not made in a vacuum from ethics and morality, and even minutely may
impact people's lives and they way they move forward in their lives.
That we're designing for human beings and we *are* impacting them.
That power is embedded in our position, and to use that power
thoughtfully . Whenever possible, to share our power with "users,"
rather than take it away by telling what to do. And to own, and take
responsibility for, the behaviors we are eliciting, encouraging, and
rewarding.

Manipulation is manipulation whether it's intended for [what an
individual or group considers] Good or for Harm. Propaganda is
propaganda whether convincing children not to smoke, or discouraging
people not to throw trash out the car window because it makes the
Indian or Baby Jesus cry, or conveying that turning to a pill to
sleep is normal, expected, The Answer. To be unflinchingly plain
with ourselves about what we're doing, and do our best to
rationalize.

The example provided of Obama is important, but undifferentiated.
What Obama as an individual seems to have espoused vs what his
campaign and soon Administration are catalyzing via IxD (and social
media) are radically different. The latter (campaign and
Administration) have clear agenda and vested interest in the specific
actions people take. They are/were intended to benefit the campaign
and the Administration. They also had/have aims for benefiting
communities, humanity, etc. But clearly a keen element of
self-interest. The end of the civic engagement, thus far, has not
been the Kantian "Ding an sich" -- in this case: civic engagement
as an end in itself -- to empower individuals to participate actively
in a democracy, regardless of specific policy-supporting outcomes.
Rather, it's designed to achieve ends that benefit the
campaign/Administration.

While I agree with a lot of what the Administration hopes to achieve,
I'm ambivalent about what I perceive as the "yoking up" of a
volunteer workforce. Rather than the priority being to cultivate
legions of smart, empowered thinkers, actors, and decision-makers --
without whom are democracy is a farce.

I personally hope this shifts, and if it does, it will indeed be the
most radical administration in the history of our country. Because it
will be about empowering people to make their own decisions and
inspire them to engage -- but stop short of telling them HOW.

And to me, that's the most interesting challenge for designers.

caveat: of course in our worklives we sometimes will have to
"guide" users and tell them what to do. I have done some things I
consider fairly heinous interns of respecting the humanity and
autonomy of "users." I also deliberately do otherwise every chance
I can. I'm suggesting, basically, to consider subversion by way of
creating experiences that value simplicity but acknowledge underlying
complexity and individual choices and empowerment. Something like that
:)

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36296

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