Dichotomy Mapping

Difficulty Level:

Method Overview

Dichotomy mapping is a framework that helps designers to map and evaluate contrasting aspects — “harmful” and “beneficial”— of each of their design features. 

Framework of ethics used:

Method Intentions:

Getting Started

You will need:

Materials:  Framework, Sheets of paper/ Whiteboard, pens, post-its

Participants: Design team 


Using an example provided here, do the following: 

  1. Identify your product and different features to evaluate
  2. Create a 2 column grid, one column titled “harmful” and other titled “beneficial. 
  3. In each row, identify harmful and beneficial aspects for each feature identified in Step1.
  4. Extend the conversation to identify the same for single as well as a group of users. 

Further Reading

Material on Designing Ethically: https://www.designethically.com/

Other tools in the toolkit: https://www.designethically.com/toolkit


Zhou, K. (2021). Dichotomy Mapping. Design Ethically Toolkit. https://www.designethically.com/dichotomy-mapping

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