Respecting Users

Reading “Respect always comes first” about applying a focus on security and ethics when designing experiences, makes me happy. It’s great to see that more people think about things like this and care about the same ideas. Not that I thought it’d be a wrong thing to do, but it’s good to get some confirmation that more ethics in design is the way forward.

I always liked the idea of blog-post-replies, hence this post in reply to Vitaly’s article. (We should do these things more often again ;))

I feel the same way as many people do. You do something and you are not sure if you are doing the right thing. What if it’s just a crazy idea of yours and it’s actually not as great as you think and maybe completely wrong? This happens all the time. But: if you don’t do it, you’ll never find out…

Reading “Respect always comes first” about applying a focus on security and ethics when designing experiences, makes me happy. It’s great to see that more people think about things like this and care about the same ideas. Not that I thought it’d be a wrong thing to do, but it’s good to get some confirmation that more ethics in design is the way forward. Doing things in a better, more respective way and putting our users interests first can never be wrong and that’s why we follow in this approach with Colloq, too.

From the article:

Now, what if we tried something else? Here’s a start-up idea: If you want to “disrupt” anything, bring the focus to privacy, inclusivity, and ethics of your product. Design your principles, stick to them and make them noticeable. Don’t try to outperform with features. Outperform by being authentic in your small niche, and have values that people can genuinely relate to. Think about offboarding and the data you collect. Write meaningful, respectful copy instead of testing 20 shades of a button. Think about third-party scripts, and contain them.

But Where Would We Even Start?

Everyone wants to create better experiences, but what are you willing to do for it?

First of all, you’ll have to be in the boat to want to improve something. Then you can have a look at various options that you can use to improve your user’s experience. In most cases, this can be done by starting small and then building up, when you really need to. This is not quite the current trend, since I see many projects deciding to throw everything on it to then later remove things to improve and optimise.

Less data: Most projects start collecting countless amounts of data from the get go. Many projects I know, don’t even know what to do with all the collected data. “It’s just what you do today, so we need that too!” Seem to be the more common ground here.

Less tracking and better privacy: Consider which third-party plugins or apps you need to use. Many of them will track your users in one way or the other. Most of the time, there’s an alternative that you can use. It might be a little more work or not as convenient, but there’s a win on the other side. What about honouring do-not-track headers, while we’re at it?

Better security: What is it that you do to make sure your users and their data is safe? What could you do better? One example could be to make use of the freely available leaked password databases and use it on your site. Do you think about Cross-Site Request Forgery?

These are only a few examples and there are many more ways to better respect your users and improve their experience. In turn these considerations can make your life as a developer or product owner more secure and less painful as well. Your users will be appreciate it and you can pride yourself with doing the “right thing”.