White Hat Design Patterns

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Method Overview

As designers and developers, we have an obligation to build experiences that are better than the norm. This article explains how unethical design happens, and how to do ethical design through a set of best practices.

Framework of ethics used



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What is Ethical Design?
Ethics will be defined as a system of moral principles that defines what is perceived as good and evil. Ethical design is, therefore, design made with the intent to do good, and unethical design is its black hat counterpart.

The General Data Protection Regulation
GDPR is an extensive regulation that amongst the highlights include:
– The requirement of any organization that collects data to do so in a secure manner by design;
– Heavy fines for data breaches;
– Data must only be collected after explicit consent, and the language used to explain why the data is collected must be plain and simple. In addition, consent must be withdrawable at any time and must be as easy to do as it was giving it (which, by the way, includes Sign up → Delete profile);
– “The right to be forgotten,” meaning that people have the right to have their data deleted;
– The right for people to get access to their personal data in any organization, alongside information about how this data is processed;
– Data portability, meaning that people have the right to get hold of their data in one company and transfer it to another company;
– Heavy fines for non-compliance of GDPR.

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Further Reading

IDEO’s Human-Centered Design Kit is extremely helpful to understand HCD and offers a wide range of methods on how to work human-centered. Simply Secure is an organization that supports and educates practitioners in ethical design processes. They offer a thorough knowledge base for people interested in building trustworthy technology White Hat UX — The Next Generation in User Experience is a book that offers lots of practical advice on how to design experiences that are transparent, honest and ethical. Written by Trine Falbe, Martin Frederiksen, and Kim Andersen. Cracked Labs is an independent research institute and a creative laboratory based in Vienna, Austria. It investigates the socio-cultural impacts of information technology and develops social innovations in the field of digital culture. They offer in-depth reports about most things related to privacy.