Memento Product Mori: Of Ethics in Digital Product Design

BY Arne Kittler ON JULY 6, 2017

In this beautifully narrated presentation from MTP Engage, Sebastian Deterding, research fellow at the Digital Creativity Labs at the University of York, challenges us to consider the moral dimensions of our work as product people:

Why do many of us engage in building platforms that aim capture the users time (and money) in rather unhealthy ways – despite the fact that we clearly know and feel the pain of the increasing battle for attention that we are exposed to?

Why do we put a (wrong) sense of craftsmanship over everything else when we use the difficulty of the challenges we are solving to justify working for doubt-worthy companies?

Why do we easily push aside the moral values that we instinctively apply to our private lives as soon as we enter our work environment?

And why do we deem it OK to pursue solutions that are “just good enough” or “still somewhat legally OK” when we would never accept a similar work ethic from professions such as doctors or oil-rig workers?

In his keynote, Sebastian guides us through these and many other interesting questions. He throws in a good dose of insight from his extensive research in the area of persuasive design and asks us to think about how we can design for the good life. Lastly Sebastian invites us to reflect on which vision of the good life we want to live.

Save the date! MTP Engage Hamburg will be back on April 20, 2018!


Arne Kittler

Director Mobile Product at XING, the leading professional network in the German speaking markets. Co-Organizer of ProductTank Hamburg and Curator of MTP Engage Hamburg.