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Ethical Design Course (How To)

via Treehouse


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With all the power that technology yields, it comes with tremendous responsibility. This course will introduce Ethical Design, which considers the moral implication of one's work on others. Specifically, we'll focus on tech at the intersection of development, design, and business. We'll reflect on how tricky interfaces and dirty data practices have negative consequences on society. Ethical frameworks and tools will be shared so you can evaluate and align your actions with your values. Techniques for effective advocacy will enable you to nurture human-centered decisions in your organization. This course is for everyone who works in tech, regardless of their role.

What you'll learn

  • Define Ethical Design
  • Identify dark patterns and anti-patterns
  • Evaluate data implications and privacy concerns
  • Learn about the societal impacts, from mental health to perpetuations of bias
  • Gain tools, frameworks, and techniques for effective advocacy and decision making


Introduction to Ethical Design

What does it mean to act ethically as a developer, designer, or product owner? We'll introduce Ethical Design and how it relates to day-to-day work.

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  • What is Ethical Design?


  • instruction

    Public & Private Data Exercise

  • Exercise: Wrap-up


  • Designing and Developing with Ethics


  • instruction

    Reflect on Your Experiences

  • Review Intro to Ethical Design

    6 questions

Tricky Interfaces & Dirty Data

We'll look at the consequences of dark patterns and anti-patterns in user interfaces. Then we'll learn the ethical considerations when it comes to data.

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  • instruction

    Deceptive Patterns

  • Unintended Consequences and Anti-Patterns


  • Collecting Data


  • instruction

    Exercise: Collecting Data Exercise

  • Review: Tricky Interfaces & Data Collection

    6 questions

  • Interpreting Data


  • Sharing Data


  • Research Without Consent


  • Review: Dirty Data

    5 questions

The Deeper Negative Impacts on Society

Technology has a lasting effect on society. We'll delve into attention hacking, misinformation, harassment, and the perpetuation of bias with machine learning.

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  • The Deeper Negative Impacts on Society


  • instruction

    Exercise: Ledger of Harms

  • Unsafe Content, Misinformation, and Harassment


  • instruction

    Exercise: Unsafe Content, Misinformation, and Harassment

  • Perpetuating Bias and Amplifying Hate with Artificial Intelligence


  • Review: Impacts on Society

    8 questions

Tools and Techniques

To wrap up the course, we'll review ethical frameworks, tools, and best practices.

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  • Use an Ethical Framework


  • instruction

    Exercise: Explore Ethical Frameworks

  • instruction

    Exercise: Putting Ethical Principles into Practice

  • Tools for Change


  • Advocate Effectively


  • Build the Business Case for Ethical Decisions


  • Best Practices


  • instruction

    Ethical Design: Best Practices

  • Review: Tools & Techniques

    7 questions

Taught by

Michelle Zohlman


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