Values in design

Cory Knobel and Geoffrey C. Bowker. 2011. Values in design. Commun. ACM 54, 7 (July 2011), 26–28. DOI:

This magazine article focuses on values as a crucial part of the design process. Primarily, this work reviews values embedded into design, like user agreements which seem to not value transparency or fair contracting. They review Nissenbaum's Values in Design Council, which named three values that need attention: (1) privacy vs. security; (2) digital rights; and (3) cultural valence (how systems designed by one group or culture may be imposed on another). Design inherently causes value tension. Though a design may support one value (e.g., connectivity with loved ones) it may also impose a less desired value (e.g., transparency of online activity leading to a need for attention/interrogation from loved ones). A user may then be forced to lie about their whereabouts, conflating privacy with lying. The goal of the VID council is to "create infrastructures that produce less friction over values than those created in the past" (pg. 27).

Values versus Ethics: "Ethics are a set of prescriptions (nouns), while values are tied to action (verbs)" (pg. 28).