Spotlight Design Ethics

2019-10-21 00:00:00 2019-10-22 00:00:00 America/Toronto Spotlight Design Ethics Looking to create designs that also make a difference in the world? Want to make sure your designs reach an inclusive audience? Learn to strike a balance between creating for good, and turning a profit; making what you love, and loving what you make; using… Toronto FITC EST Toronto



Today’s designers are under much pressure to produce creative and unique solutions, and may sometimes cut corners by plagiarizing or mimicking existing work. We refer to acts like these as “stealing bubblegum,” small, seemingly harmless actions that can lead to more problematic issues down the road. Questionable decisions by designers can range from omitting “alt tags” from a website to building an interface that intentionally deceives users. Many designers use learned principles and tools to produce desired outcomes for their clients or employers, and they may not be thinking about the potential impact their work will have on others.

Decision making, process, and intentionality are at the core of what it means to be a designer. We need to rethink the role of ethics in design, and with it, industry expectations to focus on responsibility at the micro-decisions level. There needs to be an emphasis on the power and accountability of the designer to align with human values and promote such expectations to others, while seeking to produce secure, inclusive, accessible design solutions by requiring more thoughtful questions, surfaced sooner in the process.


To think more intentionally and critically about everyday design decisions with a lens that considers a focus on security, inclusivity, and accessibility.

Target Audience

Product designers, managers, developers, mentors

Five Things Audience Members Will Learn

  1. The importance of demonstrating intentionality in design
  2. How to foster an atmosphere of values-focused decision making
  3. How to advocate for human values in design critique
  4. Examples of the role of ethical decision making in funded design research
  5. Examples of ways adopt better values within organizations