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Ethics and information architecture - The 6th Academics and Practitioners Roundtable at the Information Architecture Summit 2018

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Information architecture is not neutral.

By organizing information for discovery and use, we not only make information accessible but also provide the lens through which people will experience it. Designing information architectures involves making and imposing value choices, which positions the work and study of information architecture in the realm of ethics.

The information architecture community has considered ethics at the micro level, for instance by finding ways to do good in specific interactions. But to what extent have we thought about ethics in the context of our overall profession? When we design IAs do we, as practitioners, surrender our moral authority to someone else? Or do we follow a code?

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Ethics and information architecture - The 6th Academics and Practitioners Roundtable at the Information Architecture Summit 2018

  1. 1. Ethics and Information Architecture The 6th Academics and Practitioners Roundtable at the Information Architecture Summit 2018 Chicago, Illinois, USA Sarah Rice (lead organizer) Bern Irizarry Stacy Surla Keith Instone Andrea Resmini
  2. 2. OVERVIEW What is the Academics & Practitioners Roundtable? This years topic: Ethics & Information Architecture Next Steps Q&A ORGANIZERS Sarah Rice Lead Bern Irizarry Stacy Surla Keith Instone Andrea Resmini
  3. 3. REFRAMING IA 2013 TEACHING IA 2014 MASTERWORKS: WHAT MAKES GOOD IA GOOD 2016 DEVELOPING A LANGUAGE OF CRITIQUE 2015 MAPPING THE DOMAIN 2017 Reframe-ia.org #reframeia on Twitter Academics & Practitioners Roundtable Held before the IA Summit each year, this pre-conference activity exists to support the community in defining and supporting Information Architecture as a profession.
  4. 4. ETHICS&IA 2018: Ethics & Information Architecture Information architecture is not neutral. Organizing information for discovery and use makes it accessible but also adds a lens through which people will experience it. Practicing IA means making and imposing value choices, which positions the work and study of information architecture in the realm of ethics. The M3 Model
  5. 5. LIGHTNING TALKS Arturo Perez Ontological and Epistemological Notion of Being Hobbes & Fenn Wicked Ethics in Design Stacy Surla Towards a Feminist IA Kat King Personal Ethics and Ethical Codes Dan Zollman Boundaries and Relationships in IA Practice Jeff Pass Everything that Rises must Converge Anne Gibson Your Ableism is Showing Dan Klyn Training AIs
  6. 6. ETHICALPRINCIPLES Principles: Do no harm Equal access to information Community ethics Gather a variety of points of view Protect (and respect) difference Helping some can help all Give a damn (about accessibility) Represent/consider the user in your IA Take an action (don’t just think about it) We exist in context. Embrace it. “Improve the system” Ethical problems are cognitive non-routine problems We know what we see, hear, feel, etc. (sense). Design above reproach Views that don’t value the diversity of views should not count. It’s important to provide social value, not just monetary worth. Gather feedback (from users & stakeholders) Solve a problem Use tools to get your job done Review what we make before we release it Don’t wait til it’s perfect “Make IA great again” Values: Free speech, free expression Access to information Human rights, Human dignity Empathy Balance, “meet in the middle” Accuracy Value Advocacy Trust Ethical Pluralist Honesty Civility Accountability Agency (control own destiny) Privacy Harmony Ecosystem well-being Transparency Equity Equality (gender) Truth Space for open/free thoughts
  7. 7. INFORMATIONPROBLEMS Frameworks for decisions are not named: Ethical frameworks in metasystems are derived from business discourse IA is not part of developing PAPA thought security and control is. Understand the impact of information choices: The prioritization of public space online IA literacy Bridging practitioner and academic expertise Information literacy Who “owns” data Information filtering Externalities Must understand how information is created, managed, used to engage on ethics All models are wrong Information is a process How to bring ethical philosophy to practice What counts as diverse? Design and IA are considered a “privilege” Assumptions Empathy could be a problem Assumptions that 2 people would have the same response to a problem Include vs. exclude No desire to change the system “We can’t raise the boats faster that we can raise the water.” We each have a different definition of “good” Visible and transparency Multiple stakeholders Responsibility distributed among actors Consent Who is an actor in the system Don’t know the real problem Transparency Don’t see the problem (don’t or can’t acknowledge it exists) Power perspective and lens selected Conflict and how to resolve it Hostile work environment We have our own lenses Who makes the decisions? Is “tolerance” too toothless? Only one point of view (mainstream) Who has the power “All built by men” Filter troubles Complexity driven by tech VR AI Emergent properties of complex human and info systems Systems are complex Complex politics “Good” vs. “Successful” Goal is only making money and not human well-being Dark Practices Fake news Not considering the user Are dark patterns for good still ethically wrong? Mentioning user perspective to check off the “ethical box” in design process Qualify users exclusion through biz requirements to limit access for people with disabilities Access to technology Access to information Personal information not treated as personal property Accuracy - no attention to detail or concern that information is accurate Information is not treated as private Ability to contest or disagree what info about me that is out there How do I know what data is out there about me? When? For whom?
  8. 8. STORIES & A PLAY The results of a day’s work
  9. 9. A SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY THAT MAXIMIZES GOOD AND MINIMIZES HARM Shelley Cook Keith Instone Stacy Surla
  10. 10. MEDITATION Stacy Surla
  11. 11. MEDITATION Stacy Surla How this fits into the M3 model Watch Stacy explain the storyboard YouTube video: A Sex Offender Registry that Maximizes Good and Minimizes Harm (3:03)
  12. 12. FACEBOOK AND FAKE NEWS Arturo Perez Amy Rosenthal Carole Smith Tim Whalen Anne Gibson
  13. 13. MEDITATION Stacy Surla
  14. 14. MEDITATION Stacy Surla Values included in this story Watch Sue explain the storyboard Facebook and Fake News (3:03)
  15. 15. KILL ‘EM RIGHT Dan Zollman Jeff Pass Jason Hobbs Andrea Resmini Building a system to carry out the death sentence in Texas
  16. 16. MEDITATION Stacy Surla
  17. 17. MEDITATION Stacy Surla Video goes here - imbed? Or link? Ethical principles involved Decision tree: Should I do this project?
  18. 18. Building a system to carry out the death sentence in Texas (14:13)
  19. 19. INFORMATION THERAPY FOR FACEBOOK USERS Clai Rice Kat King Stuart Maxwell Jackie Wolf A play in one act, as seen by video. Link to video
  20. 20. Story came from scenario provided during the roundtable. Scenario written by Sarah A. Rice, 2018.
  21. 21. Information Therapy for Facebook Users (14:13)
  22. 22. MAKE-A-THON DAY 2 Create digital or physical artifacts showcasing Ethics and Information Architecture discussed during Day 1 of the Roundtable.
  23. 23. CASCADING CONSEQUENCES Amy Rosenthal Marianne Sweeny Shelley Cook Addressing the impact of design decisions for information and data
  24. 24. MEDITATION Stacy Surla
  25. 25. ETHICS BOARD FOR DESIGN PROJECTS Jeff Pass Stacy Surla Arturo Perez Jackie Wolf How to spot ethical issues in project work
  26. 26. MEDITATION Stacy Surla
  27. 27. ETHICS GAME Clai Rice Bern Irizarry Bram Wessel Ethics and IA: Helping people consider long term impacts and trade-offs
  28. 28. MEDITATION Stacy Surla
  29. 29. POSTER
  30. 30. QUESTIONS & ANSWERS Ask about the Roundtable... Talk about ethics and information architecture...
  31. 31. OUR ASK Who is interested in helping to organize the next roundtable? What topic would you like to discuss & make? goo.gl/BybjHg
  32. 32. THANKS
  33. 33. PAST ROUNDTABLES Not workshops! Reframing Information Architecture Teaching Information Architecture Developing a Language of Critique for Information Architecture A Discussion of Masterworks--What Makes Good Information Architecture Good Mapping the Domain -- Navigating to a Discipline Ethics and Information Architecture See reframe-ia.org for more about the history of the Reframing IA series of roundtables. Track #reframeia on Twitter for another view.

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