Ethics of Product Design: 2021 Design Trend?

Ethics should not be a design trend.

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Heather Ostertag
December 14, 2021

Is ethics becoming a design trend? How do we shift our focus off of what is trending and make it a part of our daily design checklist.

I’ve noticed recently that ethics have been in blog posts, the news, literature, online, in the office, conferences, casual conversations more and more. Within the past 5 years it has been becoming increasingly popular and widely talked about. 

It could be that people are becoming more and more aware that what they create affects others and has repercussions that can come back to haunt them. With the growth of the internet and how wide it reaches its audiences it's no wonder people are becoming more self aware. And it’s not just in the design community. It’s everywhere. Media is making us hyper aware, more resources, more people feeling empowered to speak up, more people talking.

So how do we keep ethics from becoming just a talking point that we brush aside and move on to the next big thing. Being aware of the problem is the first step. The second is much harder. Keeping this mind set of ethics with us for the rest of our careers is the next step. Keeping everyone around us, including ourselves, is key. For the sake of humanity we must be good people and make sure we do things ethically.

Easier said than done. But the more we do it, the more it becomes a habit. The more it will just become a part of our society. Let’s keep it a standard and make sure it does not stay a trend of the past.