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Andrew Mayfield

Unravelling ethical UX design: How can we design systems that work better for people?

Ethical design

Unravelling ethical UX design: How can we design systems that work better for people?

Analysts have predicted that by 2020, there will be as many as 200 billion connected digital devices in use, with each of these devices providing a gateway to an online world full of UX design. But with great power comes great responsibility, and as key industries such as transport, banking, media and education deploy digital services, ensuring their designs are not only functional, but efficient, enjoyable and ethical for users – while simultaneously pinning their profits to design – makes matters increasingly complex. Meanwhile, other areas in the private and public sector which could benefit greatly by reconsidered design based on users and their experience are being left behind. We talk with Optimal Workshop CEO Andrew Mayfield about what constitutes good UX design, harnessing new-age design practice and the potential for better UX design in the public sector.

Optimising the workplace

A new-age job title, 'chief happiness officer', is being smeared across business portfolios like lashings of margarine across soft focaccia bread. It joins a list of other modern roles found in the valleys of our tech industry, such as ‘chief evangelists’, ‘technology unicorns’, and ‘PR wonderboys’. But while at first the role of a chief happiness officer may smell of self promotion, pricey avocados and unfettered positivity, it seems the value goes deeper than a tacky title, as it may signify real change in workplace culture and unlock productivity levels. One business who believes this is Optimal Workshop, a large user experience design company based in Wellington New Zealand, who has employed a person who reportedly makes daily juices for its staff of 49. We ask its CEO Andrew Mayfield the value in this newly established role, plus chat to its ex ‘chief happiness engineer’ turned ‘people experience officer’, Alex Doggett, on what she does.