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CMDilemma – ethics in design workshop

Growing ethical awareness among UX-/ UI-designers

CMDilemma was born out of an introduction challenge for a new semester of CMD. For this challenge I had to develop and give a workshop to fellow CMD students. I was free to choose to subject, topics and form of the workshop. The project was a pressure cooker, so I only has 1 week to develop this workshop.

The goal of the workshop is to enlighten the students about the ethical choices they are making when designing a product/ experience. At the end of the workshop they need to be aware of the ethical and moral consequences and decisions they make as designer. The workshop has the form of an interactive game with discussions and 3 minute lectures.


01. Ideation

The first step for this project was thinking for which subject I wanted to design a workshop. I made a list of these and discussed my subjects with the others team members.

02. Research

After the subject was chosen I did research on which topics and ethical dilemma’s would be interesting for the target audience. Ethics discussions with team members were also part of this step.

03. Creation

With the results of the research and ethics discussions I created the accompanying app for the workshop.

04. Testing

With the prototype for the app ready, I tested the workshop among the team members and made some changes. After this the big test was the workshop with CMD students.

To start off I made a long(ish)-list with subjects was interested in developing a workshop about. I shortened this to a short-list of 2 subjects, other students also did this. Based on this teams were formed. Within the team I pitched my ideas and one of my ideas, ethics , was chosen. I chose this subject because the students were also getting 2 courses about it during the semester, so I found it relevant for the target audience. I did a short brainstorm on concepts for the workshop. Dilemmas was the winner of this brainstorm, because the workshop had to be interactive I wanted to make it in the form of a serious game, but not in the form of a Kahoot.

We wanted the workshop to be more interactive then a Kahoot, so we brainstormed on how we could do that. We decided on a structure where we first presented a dilemma, made the students choose an answer, discussed their reasoning, after which we geve a 3 minute lecture about the theory behind the dilemma. We pitched this idea to the other students and got positive feedback on our concept. We did got back that we should not focus on good or bad in the discussion and lecture, but more on the reasoning behind the decisions. We also received an idea with the feedback to group students together based on ethical principles. I thought this was a good idea, because it could be useful knowledge for the other courses the students would follow.

Short overview of the concept for the workshop (dutch).
Short overview of the concept for the workshop (dutch).
A storyboard of the flow of the workshop in dutch).
A storyboard of the flow of the workshop in dutch).

After the concept for the workshop was decided on, I went ahead and did research on ethics and moral theories. The insights of this were captured in a master document, which I and another team member used to wrote the small 3 minute lectures. The insights also were used to develop dilemma’s and the categories were the students would eventually fall in at the end of the workshop. With the dilemma’s ready I and the whole team made a schematic view of the workshop and dilemma’s and discussed the outcomes of the dilemma’s. At the end of the discussions the flow (pathway) to the group result for the students was known. I used this flow to design and develop the app in Framer. After the prototype was done I tested it on my team members and made changes were the prototype didn’t function as needed.

I uploaded the prototype to Github, so it could be used as  a web app on the phone of the participating students and lecturers. A QR-code was placed into the presentation so the participant could easily reach the web app. At the time of the workshop we had placed dots on the ground where students would move to after they selected their answer in the app. This enabled us and the participants to view which statement the participant choose and helped with the discussions.

Start of the schematic overview of the dilemma's, lectures and ethical grouping.
Start of the schematic overview of the dilemma's, lectures and ethical grouping.
Poster for the workshop
Poster for the workshop
This are all the app screens for the CMDilemma app, with their respective pathways.

CMDilemma web app prototype