Fostering Ethically Mature Organizations: Part 2 of 4

Fostering Ethically Mature Organizations: Part 2 of 4

In the first part of this series, we talked about why ethics needs to be core to UX research in corporate tech. The goal of user researchers is to advocate for user needs and craft better experiences — which ultimately increases a corporation’s profit. To carry out our work and that of our company, ethics needs to be central to our employers’ practices, not just ours.

As we discussed in Part One, ethical research somehow seems to be at odds with corporate goals, which can at times mean profit > people. For this reason, ethics and a team supporting the infrastructure for ethics to grow and thrive tend to be an afterthought.

This underscores ethical maturity, or how well a corporate institution understands, nurtures, and grows ethical practices.

 

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Ethics Violations in Human Research

Research

Ethics Violations in Human Research throughout History

Ethics are commonly viewed as norms for conduct and how we determine right from wrong. In human research, these ethics are the guidelines under which we evaluate our work and how it affects people.

Ethics review boards are established to evaluate the ethics of a research protocol. While not comprehensive, below is a list of ethics violations that led to ethical guidelines such as those established in the Belmont Report.

Please note that reading through these examples will cause discomfort and unease.

    • 1932: Start of the Tuskegee experiments withholding established syphilis treatments from black men
    • 1939Nuremberg atrocities committed during WWII
    • 1939Unit 731 illegal testing of chemical and biological weapons on civilians

I update this list as I receive additional examples. If you have an example to add to the list, please email me a link to the violation with a brief, one or two sentence summary.

It’s Beyond Time to put Ethics at the Core of UX Research: Part 1 of 4

Image of people working together at a conference table.

It’s Beyond Time to put Ethics at the Core of UX Research: Part 1 of 4

Coauthor: Lexi Neigel, PhD

UX researchers can shape an entire career around evaluating different aspects of a product to ensure it’s something that people actually want to use. Thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all analyzed to discover which steps and processes could be reduced or even eliminated to improve overall experience. To that end, user researchers could really be viewed as customer success strategists.

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Pillars of Customer Success

Foundational research program starts with desk research.

Pillars of Customer Success

Coauthors: Kayla McVey and Paula Bach

The user research spectrum stretches from foundational to tactical work. In general, researchers are highly skilled at collecting and analyzing different types of data at one or both ends of this spectrum. They turn research findings into actionable insights and help partners across their company experience the customer’s journey in their own words. More importantly, though, they are the champions for customer success.

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