Chris Meeks

Digital Design Oath

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Digital Design Oath

Over the last year or so, I've been concerned that digital designers don't have enough ethical training. There are a number of organizations that do a great job educating designers on how to charge clients, how to appropriate work, not to take spec work, etc. But I don't know of anyone asking deeper questions as the experiences we enable evolve.

For example, I see the plight of "fake news" as an ethical problem that traditional design organizations and associations haven't addressed head-on. For this reason, I'm interested in creating a certification program (in conjunction with others) that digital designers engage with consistently. A designer would take the digital design oath (just as other professionals have oaths) and add their name to the roster after taking a short course addressing ethical questions facing digital experiences today. The Digital Design Oath (DDO) would consistently engage with members as new ethical questions inevitably arise and have an open dialogue about how to educate our community.

Importantly, this oath would be absent of any political ideology. It would simply espouse principles of truth, transparency, access, etc.

So, what do people think? I believe designers need to embrace the reality that we're shaping more than pixels. We're building ways for people to perceiving and interact with their increasingly digital world. We can't shy away from those implications. Ignoring them will simply lead to a frontier largely absent of ethical decision-making.

Who will help me put this together?

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