Show notes

This podcast is episode 4 of 5 recorded at Ambition Empower Autumn 2022

In this conversation with Alex Schmidt, author of Deliberate Intervention, we discuss “policy” in relation to digital design and tech. We discuss how even though designers intend to do good and have a positive impact, harm can still happen as a result of our designs.

We talk about how it is natural for systems to produce unintended consequences and that understanding and accepting this is important to make things less harmful. 

When we talk about how organisations prioritise certain groups of people over others and how that can be harmful, Alex mentions “the dance of policy creation”, where technology is introduced into society, society reacts, and then the policies have to change.

“As designers, we look at the detailed journey of a user or try to identify the pain points, the points of friction. But harms aren’t usually something that users identify in the course of research. They accrue to society on a broader level, not necessarily to individuals, and become apparent later on in time.”  

(Listening time: 38 minutes, transcript)


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