Ethical Design – 2018 SXSW Programming Trends

January 26, 2018 Ari Roth

Each year, different trends emerge from SXSW programming and act as identifiers for where we’re at and where we’re headed. From the 12 significant trends identified by the SXSW Programming Team for the 2018 event, Ethical Design explores the social and psychological effects of our increased dependency on smart devices, and how these forces leave us vulnerable to the influence of product designers. Get to know this trend and related-SXSW sessions below that we think will dominate discussions this March.

Ethical Design Trend

Our current relationship with technology is close-knit and only growing closer as computing models advance to learning-based algorithms and tech companies shift their priority from hardware to software. We’re moving towards a post-device era, gradually abandoning the traditional shells that host mobile apps while designers evolve to provide device-independent services. With these changes, it’s crucial that designers keep technology in service of the people it is intended to serve.

Learn from cyber-psychologist Dr. Mary Aiken and Simon Segars, CEO of Arm, why it’s imperative that we develop a human-centered ethos around new technologies in the session Rebooting Tech for a Human-Centered Approach. Hear from Margaret Stewart, VP of Product Design at Facebook, on the importance of design ethics throughout her career designing at scale for Google, YouTube, and Facebook in the session Able, Allowed, Should: Navigating Design’s Complexity, and dive deeper into the design world in the session The Shadow Side of Human Centered Design focusing on what happens when designers fail to create for the whole human experience.

As technology accelerates at an exponential rate, it is essential we ask ourselves, what has happened to us since the dawn of the smartphone, social networking and mobile apps? And more importantly, what will happen to us if we fail to recognize the effects of our technology as we blindly trust designers to build products that integrate with nearly every aspect of our lives. The Ethical Design Trend at SXSW aims to answer these questions and is sure to leave attendees with perspectives challenged.

Stay tuned as we continue to announce more sessions through March. But for now, be sure to add these sessions to your 2018 SXSW Schedule.

Ethical Design Session Highlights

Join Us for SXSW 2018

The SXSW Conference includes 24 programming tracks divided amongst Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence. Each March, some of the world’s most creative minds come together in Austin, Texas to discover, learn, network, brainstorm and collaborate.

Explore new opportunities during 10 days of sessions, screenings, showcases, exhibitions, networking, and beyond from March 9-18 at SXSW 2018. Save big when you register to attend before Friday, February 9.

SXSW registrants get access to SXSW hotels at the lowest rates available by making reservations through SXSW Housing & Travel. Visit our availability page and then book your stay today to save.

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Teaser Photo by Sara Marjorie Strick

The post Ethical Design – 2018 SXSW Programming Trends appeared first on SXSW.


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