May 25, 2022

5 Ways to Implement Design Ethics

5 Ways to Implement Design Ethics

5 Ways to Implement Design Ethics

Credit: Freepik

Ethical design is an approach where designers should take when planning their design. This involves their responsibility towards the design process, the end product, and its effect on users, as well as designers’ moral behavior when crafting their design.

Or, you could say - creating good design with good intentions from the beginning 😉

To ensure that a design is ethical, we could refer to the ‘Ethical Hierachy of Needs’ pyramid created by Aral Balkan and Laura Kalbag (Source:

According to the Ethical Hierarchy of Needs, if any of the layers are unfulfilled, the pyramid will collapse. Credit: 99designs

Let’s learn the 5 ways to implement design ethics:

  1. Be transparent
    Highlight about your product/design benefits to the public. Inform your users, how to use the product, why your product is designed is a specific manner, or what are the main design features that would benefit your users the most compared to other product competitors.

    Educate your users and be transparent about your design to build trust and relationships with your users. 
  2. Avoid misleading information
    Providing misleading information will not only damage your design reputation but also could cause outrage from your users as they might feel they are being scammed by your product.

    Basically, you are lying to your users.

    Do thorough research before you share any information with the public.

    Be honest about what your design could not do. You might be worried that this will send your users away, but this highlights your integrity as a designer.
  1. Protect your users
    Test and re-test your design for any faulty features that could risk your users’ privacy data and other types of risks. 

    Ensure that your design does not have the probability of putting your users in danger.

    For example, protecting users’ emails and phone numbers.

Learn the 7 UX Design Tips for Improving Users Data Security.

  1. Clearly state Disclaimers and Policies 
    Take steps ahead by providing disclaimers and policies to prevent issues in the future.

    Clearly state your policies on the website. Use the right font size for your users to notice the rules  they should know.

    Do not torture your users by using small fonts or design your product disclaimers and policies that are difficult to read and find on a page.
  1. Provide accessibility and inclusivity
    Create a design that welcomes people from different backgrounds and different abilities to use your product (whenever possible).

    Study cultural sensitivity. Interview people with certain types of disabilities and use the information to create your design accordingly. 

    If your design does not provide accessibility and inclusivity to a group of people, it does not mean that your design is unethical. It just means that your design could not be used by certain groups of people.

    If there is an opportunity or ‘space’ in your design to be more accessible and inclusive, use that chance to assist more users with your product.

Get to know why Accessible design means better design.

Being ethical in design is to take into consideration your responsibilities as a designer towards your design. Think about:

  • What are the consequences if I include this in my design?
  • Will I be facing copyright issues if…
  • How do I design my product so that it will benefit my users in the long run?
  • Should I refer to an expert from other department to check on the functionality of my design?
  • Is my design ready to be delivered to users or need more testing?

Would you like more guidance on how to implement design ethics? Get a free mentoring session with our mentor to learn more about creating ethical designs!