Difficulty Level:

Method Overview

Ethicography is a method for value discovery, identifying how values were first identified in the transcripts, and how these values impacted later design decisions by visualizing the interplay of identified values. The method helps researchers in the identification of occurrences of value-laden decisions over time across a design process, visualizing the emergence of design decisions that have an ethical valence, which then facilitated further analysis of value discovery and the impact of values on design outcomes.

Framework of ethics used:


Method Intentions:

Getting Started

Participants: Academic researchers

Materials Needed: Research material (Design activity, Conversation among designers)

Steps to create an ethicograph:

  1. Unitize the speech acts and analyzed the communication structure of the dialogues of the participants.
  2. Inductively identify and apply a “value code” to each speech act in the transcript.
    * value code is defined as an intent of the speech act that would represent the participant’s attitude towards one or more values. The values were adapted a prior from Friedman 2003, including types such as: ownership, privacy, accountability,freedom from bias, trust, autonomy, usability, informed consent, and human welfare.
  3. Attribute an idea code to the speech act. These codes are marked as the layers over the links created among the speech acts of the participants
  4. Form the link.

Further Reading

  • Shruthi Sai Chivukula, Colin M Gray, and Jason A Brier. 2019. Analyzing Value Discovery in Design Decisions Through Ethicography. In Proceedings
    of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Glasgow, Scotland Uk) (CHI ’19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 77:1–77:12.
  • Batya Friedman, Peter H Kahn Jr, and Peter H. Kahn, Jr. 2003. Human Values, Ethics, and Design. In The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook, Julie A Jacko and Andrew Sears (Eds.). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, 1177–1201.


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