Design Fiction Memos

Difficulty Level:

Method Overview

Design fiction memos is a method designed to help practitioners to simulate how the values and ethical positions uncovered from their qualitative research findings can be actuated in practical scenarios. It also enables practitioners to explore the power and impact of organizational authority on their work.

Framework of ethics used:


Method Intentions:

Getting Started

You will need:

Materials: Post-it notes, pens, product description

Participants: 2 – 5 participants

Steps (quoted from Wong, 2021)

  1. Determine the name and type of fictional company 
  2. Determine the type of product or service being offered by the fictional company
  3. Determine the challenges the designer at the fictional company is facing and how they have generated resources to resolve them. These challenges can be generated based on the findings from the interview or ethnographic study.
  4. Pull together an imaginary team and assign them a task to explore how they will react to a negative headline that blames them for an unethical product.
  5. Review potential outcomes from the session and determine what that means for the team if that were to happen in a real life scenario.

Further Reading


Wong, R. Y. (2021, May 8). Using Design Fiction Memos to Analyze UX Professionals’ Values Work Practices: A Case Study Bridging Ethnographic and Design Futuring Methods. eScholarship.

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