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The Dark Side of Design

 Now, more than ever, designers and media makers are facing down tough ethical questions about their complicity in the insidiously addictive new modes of technology. There have been no shortage of words devoted to interrogating the dark side of our seemingly indispensable tech: Smartphones are hijacking our minds. Social media’s dopamine-driven feedback loops are ++++++++>

Gaming the System

Many of the systems which define our world today – including government systems of laws and regulations – are dysfunctional, or even broken. What would it mean to look at these systems through the lens of game design? Can we apply game design thinking to a practice like redistricting, made famously broken by the widespread ++++++++>

How Systems Thinking Helps Make Sense of Harvey Weinstein

When the news broke in October 2017 about Harvey Weinstein and his long history of sexual assault and harassment, I wanted to understand the full scope of the problem: How many people were involved in the incidents? Who was complicit in hiding his behavior? Did his actions have repercussions outside of Hollywood? Since I am ++++++++>

Episode 2: Facebook is broken. Should we hop on the blockchain?

Facebook’s 35 mentions in the 37-page indictment of 13 Russian nationals solidified the social network’s position at the center of our current political and cultural conundrum. In this episode, Heather Chaplin and Emily Bell retrace the steps that led to this point, examine whether Facebook’s leadership was willfully ignorant or breathtakingly naive, and analyse the role of ++++++++>

It’s Tricky: A Podcast About the Thorniest Problems in Journalism

In the inaugural episode of Tricky, Emily Bell and Heather Chaplin look at perhaps the greatest challenge facing journalism today: the fight to capture your attention. Journalism may be a pillar of democracy, but how can it compete with the persuasive design tactics that serve up everything from Instagram posts to dating apps? Examining persuasive ++++++++>

Technology, Addiction, and Time Well Spent

Time Well Spent, the nonprofit started by repentant persuasive technologist Tristan Harris, has launched the Center for Humane Technology, a group that includes tech CEOs, investors, scholars, and mindfulness advocates. “The race for attention is eroding the pillars of our society,“ the group’s website says. It warns that recent tech trends are putting our children, ++++++++>

Nir Eyal on Persuasive vs. Coercive Technology

Nir Eyal’s 2013 book, “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products,” is a study of consumer behavior that grew out of interviews with Silicon Valley firms and psychologists at Stanford University. “I came up with this hypothesis that the companies that were going to succeed online had to understand users’ habits and how to change those ++++++++>

Our Reading List on Addictive Technology and Persuasive Design

As venture capitalists and former tech execs speak out about social media addiction, designers are facing ethical questions about their work. Journalism + Design is hosting a discussion about whether persuasive technology and behavioral design are colonizing our attention. We’ll ask: Where is the line between sharp UX and user manipulation? How can we design ++++++++>

Collaborative Problem Solving for Journalists: A Workshop

Journalism + Design believes that design processes can help journalists become more imaginative, experimental, user-focused, and comfortable navigating the unknown. We recently hosted a workshop for reporters and editors on collaborative problem-solving in newsrooms. By learning the basics of design processes, journalists will be able to guide teams in their newsrooms through the steps of ++++++++>

Data and the View From Nowhere

The View from Nowhere describes a kind of false objectivity or feigned neutrality in reporting. Journalists have sometimes used the View from Nowhere, a term popularized by NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen, as a hedge against accusations of bias. Waves of technological and social change have worn down the idea that news can be reported ++++++++>