Remember: You are responsible for what you put into this world

I did not think two short weeks on Ethics in Design staged by Hyper Island would take me on a life-changing journey. But the concept, the readings, and reflections threw me into a genuine re-evaluation of what I have learned so far about design. I got to take a look at my standards and values in a way I had not expected to, and it forced me to take a stand. What purpose do I want to serve?

What’s the use of making a lot of money, if the success and riches are built on manipulating people and making them unhappy? Could you thrive in a company living off design that makes users spend more money than necessary on all their buys? Or do you believe we have moral obligations, as humans, to always do good for the world? If you think we do, can we work together to establish Ethical Design as a new normal for the industry?

Do we want our generation to…

– Storytelling based on statistics has never been more interesting!

Anyone can see it, the sharp curves that spike around march 2020, when looking at the Google Trends website for search history on words like “Order at home” and “Working at home with kids”. But searches that really hit the ceiling this past year were “Kid’s desk” and “Office chair”. At the same time, surprisingly enough, since humans on earth are spending more time at home than ever, searches for “Counseling” dipped to an all time low. The reason for the phenomenon: the world’s worst pandemic since WWII.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Google is the world’s most visited website and search motor. It’s even one of the most-searched terms on Microsofts competing, but smaller, search motor Bing (”google” is query number three to be exact, only bypassed by “facebook” and “youtube” ). But more importantly, for this text, it’s possible to extract so many facts about peoples behaviors and wishes from Google’s statistics, not only through your own website analytics set up, but also from global, or local, trends in search words.

So, why would you care? Well if you…

– if you let them

Leaders who have a hard time letting go of being in control, hold back innovative ideas, champion outdated management methods, and cannot see the benefits of diversity and inclusion, are an obstacle to both development and business success. And that’s not only a point of view, it’s a fact supported by statistics.

But, there is hope! Agile methods and UX-designers can help. All you need is to be flexible, open, and ready for the rapid changes that are inevitable.

Words on the pavement saying “Passion led us here”
Words on the pavement saying “Passion led us here”

UX:ers can drive disruptive, unique, and beautifully innovative changes in your organization, unleash the true potential of your employees and profoundly change the way you work to produce your services. They participate in the creation of great new products, functionalities, ways to understand each other and cooperate, to form a common identity and tone of voice. And they know how to build trust in teams.

Design Thinking is agile to its core. Finding out what companies have to do to succeed in designing products and services that are user friendly and attractive is key to success. …

Tales & Facts from the Hyper Island UX upskill program

Imagine yourself setting out in a small open boat on a wild and stormy ocean, without a certain destination, equipped only with the trust that somehow you will soon learn how to master sailing. That’s the feeling, the beauty and terror, of Hyper Island’s learning-by-doing-methods: While you are clinging to the rudder, thinking you have no idea what you’re doing, the creative confusion storm keeps bringing you closer towards understanding the what and the why. And that’s where my story begins. Read on to know more.

colored lights and dimmed picture
colored lights and dimmed picture

Online learning


This review recounts, starting from a very private process perspective, how I managed to make qualitative and quantitative field studies, construct hypotheses, experiment with and prioritize my questions, make surveys and user interviews, synthesize insights and present final recommendations for stakeholders, using the Hyper Island methods in designing an app aiming to make the world a better place.

My learning curve can humbly be described as a tangled line stretching slowly back and forth, shifting between learning and insights, on the how, and the why. Being a rather non-academic person, there is a lot left for me to learn…

– shrinking the gap between expectations and reality.

When I was offered an internship as a “Robot personality designer” with Furhat Robotics, a small swedish company that produces one of the worlds most sophisticated interactive Social Robots, I did not think twice. I was super happy to try the role, part of a campaign on future jobtitles. I got to take baby steps in robot programming, and a starstruck selfie with robot creator Samer Al Moubayed.

This is how I got connected with the Furhat.

Social Robot Head and computor
Social Robot Head and computor

The Furhat I have been assigned to program looks at me with big eyes and a friendly, open expression. It is not really possible to mistake it for a human. But the facial mimic, the natural posture of the head, the soft, 3d animated image, projected from the inside on it’s silicone mask, and the fact that it can speak and listen to me, creates a surprisingly likeable and realistic persona.

It is easy to like the Furhat. But how easy will it be to program it? I will get back to that in a moment. …

Aminata Merete

UX Designer & UX Writer, with some Frontend skills. Journalist. IP/Author's Rights. Tech. New Digital Media. Networking across the Globe. Ex board mbr RSF/SE.

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