Ethical Contract

Difficulty Level:

Method Overview

Ethical Contract is part of the Ethics for Designers Toolkit consisting of a worksheet, designed for a team of designers and stakeholders to list their main ethical objectives, responsibilities, main design goal and sign to commit to these above listed items. This method continues based on Ethical Disclaimer.

Framework of ethics used:



Method Intentions:

Getting Started

You will need:

Materials: Ethical Disclaimer Worksheet, Worksheet, pens

Participants: Design team, stakeholders


Using the worksheet, follow the process (Gipsen, 2017):

  1. Explain your disclaimer to all involved stakeholders.
  2. Go through the unethical situations and collect important ethical themes. Collectively define these themes for this project.
  3. Discuss who is responsible for each situation. Write everyone’s responsibilities down.
  4. Formulate three main ethical objectives everyone agrees on. Make sure everyone knows what they mean.
  5. Write down (an updated version of) the design goal as agreed upon by all stakeholders.
  6. Place your signatures to commit to the design goal and ethical objectives.

Further Reading

Jet Gispen. 2017. Ethical Contract.

Categories of tools and skills required by designers:

Other tools in the Toolkit:


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!