Gina Bhawalkar, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

Responsible design creates experiences that provide consistently positive outcomes and avoid harm for all stakeholders. Incorporating responsible design principles ensures that your firm doesn’t unknowingly release products and services that will hurt your customers and cause damage to your firm. Discover the value of responsible design in this episode featuring Principal Analyst Gina Bhawalkar.

What are responsible design principles? Early in the episode, Bhawalkar reviews some responsible design principles — like privacy and accessibility — that are important for all firms. These are linked to existing laws and regulations, so avoiding them is perilous. Other principles, Bhawalkar explains, will be important due to your industry or audience. Take explainability, for example. Banking firms that use algorithms to make eligibility decisions need to be able to understand how those decisions are made, lest they replicate biases present in historical data. Explainability will be less important for, say, a streaming service that makes personal content recommendations.

For another example, companies that create digital experiences for children benefit by holding themselves to high standards for user interface clarity. Bhawalkar points out that gaming company Epic learned this the hard way; the FTC fined it $245 million after determining that dark patterns in the game “Fortnite” were tricking children into making purchases without parental consent.

Firms can’t bolt on responsible design. It requires an evolution of design methodology. But it’s not about working more or buying additional software; it’s about working differently and asking questions. Stakeholders need to be encouraged and empowered to ask tough questions during the design process. Those on the receiving end of criticism and concern need to take it seriously. It goes without saying, but removing risks before a product launch is far better than trying to clean up a mess after.

To learn more about the benefits of responsible design, including how it can improve talent acquisition and retention, listen to the full episode. For a deeper dive, check out this related episode of the CX Cast featuring more of Bhawalkar’s guidance on responsible design.