Let's understand the business case for making products more ethical.
- Risk Matrix: A chart used to define the level of risk by considering the probability of something happening against the resulting severity of the consequence. Used in risk assessment for businesses to decide on priorities of tasks.
Build the business case for ethical decisions
- It's a global trend (future-proofing)
- It protects the brand's reputation
- It's costly not to do it; it's part of software maintenance
- The Ethical Design Handbook - by Trine Falbe, Martin Michael Frederiksen, Kim Andersen. Refer to Chapter 4: The business of ethical design (page 181)
MICHELLE: Companies are primarily comprised of good people who want to do the right thing. 0:00 But they're trapped by the business model and 0:04 the pressure to show quarterly profits. 0:07 Public companies are accountable to shareholders who seek 0:09 growth in their investment, startup investors expect big exits. 0:12 While new regulations can provide financial penalties to enforce 0:18 ethical decisions, 0:22 we can do our best to advocate from within our capacity as tech employees. 0:24 Now that we understand the business pressure, let's make a case for 0:29 ethical decisions. 0:33 Ethical design future proofs the company to be sustainable long term. 0:34 There's a global trend towards privacy, sustainability, transparency, and 0:40 corporate social responsibility. 0:45 Consumers are fed up with fraud, identity theft, hacking, manipulation, 0:48 discrimination and personal information misuse. 0:53 This is an opportunity to build trust and brand loyalty. 0:57 Designing with ethical integrity also sets the company up for 1:02 future regulatory compliance. 1:05 Designing with ethics also prevents public relations nightmares. 1:09 Traceability holds companies accountable as any missteps appear in news 1:14 publications, online reviews and social media. 1:18 While some dark patterns provide more revenue in the short term, 1:23 they degrade the company's reputation in the long term. 1:27 You may hear the argument that taking the time to perform an ethical cleanup 1:30 will be too time consuming, and therefore, too costly. 1:34 Communicate the hidden costs of not acting ethically, 1:39 you can visualize this using a risk matrix. 1:43 Often developers and 1:46 designers assume the business is aware of the consequences of its priorities. 1:47 Building fast leads to the immediate task being accomplished, but 1:53 it can fool us into thinking what we made was successful. 1:57 In reality, the cost is hidden or externalized. 2:01 Shortcuts can result in low quality code, privacy concerns, 2:05 bug fixes, and code refactoring. 2:09 This can unintentionally harm others. 2:13 So if leadership prioritizes working on a feature that brings in more revenue. 2:16 Rather than doing routine maintenance, such as ethical design cleanups, 2:20 advocate for slowing down. 2:25 Pitch for 60% of time spent on new feature development and 2:27 40% of time spent on continual projects and maintenance. 2:31 In that 40%, make a plan for improving the system to be more fair and equitable. 2:35 I hope this provides you with some ideas to convince your company to make 2:43 ethical design a priority. 2:47 The growing demand for privacy, transparency and 2:49 respect, makes it easier to convince companies to do the right thing. 2:52
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