Lies, Morals & Ethics within The UX Design Industry

Apr 03, 2020

Published on UXPlanet

The ability to convincingly present your ideas is critical for successful UX design. This has led to the creation of many articles, books and classes which are aimed to improve psychology and persuasion in the industry. Whilst I believe that you, the reader, are an honest person, there are others out there who use these methods to sell a lower standard of work.

The more I learn about UX design, the more I understand that a designer spends most of their time communicating with stakeholders. This book (which I highly recommend) describes how good design is worthless without a good explanation.
But unfortunately, the line between an explanation, and a lie, is often tested.

Should we lie to our stakeholders to help users? We could lie about costs, job difficulty or “special reasons” to reject a customer’s idea if we feel that it is bad for the project. Should we lie about budgets? Should we lie to save ourselves from burnout or an infinite amount of corrections? Should we lie to sell extra services and earn more money? There are a lot of different lies that designers use daily.

It is a difficult moral position to be in. I can admit that I have convinced clients to make risky decisions because I wasn’t going to meet deadlines, had doubts about their ideas or was stressed.

Believe me, all experienced designers know how to push people towards a desired outcome.

I am not proud of it. Not only was it harmful to the client, but also to my own mental state. That’s why I wrote this article — to discuss the internal processes and results that come from lies within the UX design industry.

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