45 min talk
Today many of the same techniques that Packard warned about sixty years ago in his classic "The Hidden Persuaders" are being used without hesitation to persuade users of digital products to subscribe, click, scroll, buy, invite and more. The same people who claim a user-centric mindset have no second thoughts when using learnings from psychology to obviously steer users towards desired behaviours.
Sixty years ago, in 1957, Vance Packard published The Hidden Persuaders, a classic examination of how our thoughts and feelings are manipulated by business, media and politicians, The Hidden Persuaders was the first book to expose the hidden world of “motivation research”.
Today many of the same techniques that Packard warned about are being used without hesitation to persuade users of digital products to subscribe, click, scroll, buy, invite and more. The same people who claim a user-centric mindset have no second thoughts when using learnings from psychology to obviously steer users towards desired behaviours.
Displacing user insights, psychological insights are creating a playbook for profit without regard for long-term relationships. This is not because people or businesses are evil, but while the intent may be benevolent the outcomes are becoming glaringly damaging. As designers we need to recognise this and commit to addressing the mistakes being made.
In this talk I will give examples of growing problem areas and and describe how designers need to take more responsibility for the well-being and autonomy of users, as well as some practical ways this could play out. There is a cost to doing the right thing, but there are also rarely measured human costs that we are already paying dearly for. By showcasing these costs of the different paths available to us we can boost the incentive to include more conscious, moral decision-making in the design process.
Per Axbom is a designer, coach and visual explainer. He has explored digital processes since the mid-nineties using interviews, sketches and prototypes to battle the ogres of design.
In recent years Per has been the UX lead for Sweden’s national platform for online behavioural therapy and as such he has partaken in risk assessments where the smallest of design details hold potential for devastating outcomes.
Regularly contributing to the UX community through blog posts and podcasts, Per is increasingly keen on promoting the concept of design morals and is working to help designers embrace ethics thinking.
EuroIA is the leading Information Architecture (IA) and User Experience (UX) conference for Europe.
EuroIA has travelled through Europe over the years: Brussels, Barcelona, Rome, Berlin, Paris, Prague, and most recently, in Amsterdam. In 2017 will be in Stockholm for the first time. Learn more about EuroIA.
EuroIA is organised by volunteers all around Europe, with three co-chairs, an active committee and over 35 country ambassadors. Find out who is who at EuroIA.
EuroIA goes to Stockholm, the Capital of Scandinavia, one of the most connected, environmentally friendly and creative cities in the world.
EuroIA 2017 will take place at Elite Hotel Marina Tower, situated in a historic mill on the waterfront, only a few minutes from the city centre.
Elite Hotel Marina Tower Stockholm,
Saltsjöqvarns kaj 25,
131 71 Nacka,
+46 8 555 702 00
The following sponsors have already committed to EuroIA 2017:
FatDUX: Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, FatDUX creates innovative interactive products that improve the quality of people’s lives and improve their clients’ bottom line. These products include websites, intranets, software applications, and industrial interfaces. You’ll find FatDUX offices and representatives throughout Europe and the Americas.
User Intelligence: User Intelligence is a user experience design and evaluation collective based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Our consultants work on the design and evaluation of complex, interactive products and services, usually applications on websites, mobile phones, interactive TV, or desktops. We always keep the end-user in mind, without losing sight of the business context of our clients.
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