Black Mirror Brainstorming


Difficulty Level:

Method Overview

Black Mirror Brainstorms is an exercise modeled after the “Black Mirror” Netflix series, designed for industry teams to critically brainstorm and evaluate negative impact scenarios of their work in order to properly consider their potential consequences.

Framework of ethics used:

consequentialist

Method Intentions:

You will need:

Participants: Groups of 3–4 people (eg. designers)

Materials Needed: Blackmirror Brainstorming Template, markers, sticky notes, ideas

Steps (Mauldin, 2018):

  1. Start with a hypothetical that frames the scenario.
  2. Brainstorm how this scenario can have a negative impact in any related areas.
  3. Come up with a quote a person might say about this situation if it took place in an episode of “Black Mirror”.
  4. Frame the situation in the following sub-steps: Who is the idea intending impact, what was the well-intended idea, how did it go wrong, and how did the idea going wrong affect the people around it.
  5. Create a poster for the “Black Mirror” episode you created. 
  6. Share them with others, look for common elements and patterns, and post relative feedback on each poster.
  7. Reflect on these insights and consider how they tie into your upcoming and existing work.

Further Reading

Mauldin, J. (2018) Black Mirror brainstorms – a product design exercise.

https://uxdesign.cc/black-mirror-brainstorms-f919ccf5938c

Citation

This methods microsite is based off of analysis which is available in a preprint manuscript. Feel free to review our methodology and other details! We welcome your comments and feedback ! Please also use this form if you would like to suggest a method as an addition to the collection!