Episode 47 highlights – Alba Villamil podcast about UX Research Ethics, Inclusion & Social Change:
- Design ethics and ways to examine if your work is doing more harm than good
- Inclusion in business and design
- Things you can do to make your participants feel more comfortable and welcome
- Using your position and influence to make positive ethical change in your company
- Alba’s work at HmntyCntrd
- Tips for making social change personally and professionally
This podcast is brought to you by Aurelius, the powerful research and insights tool. Collect, analyze, search and share all your research in one place.
Links from this episode:
(this transcript was automatically created using our very own transcription feature in Aurelius and has been minimally edited, please excuse any typos or weirdness 😀 )
This is the Aurelius podcast episode 47 with Alba Villamil. I’m Zach Naylor co-founder at Aurelius and your host for the Aurelius podcast where we discuss all things ux research and product in this episode. We have album Avila meal our user researcher in the social sector and facilitator at Humanity centered elbows work is focused on improving Service delivery to underserved communities. She also works with other ux professionals to consider how the ethical principles that guide their work may be doing more harm than good with that. You can imagine we talked quite a bit about ethics and ux design and research Alba not only shared a definition of what Ethics in our profession is, but also what sort of questions we can ask ourselves and our teams to consider the impact we have to the society and communities we designed for and research with Alba is so thoughtful and has clear expertise and background on these topics through her work so I know you’ll have a lot to take away from our chat.
Aurelius podcast is brought to you by Aurelius the powerful research repository and insights platform. Aurelius is an all-in-one space for researchers to organize notes capture insights analyze data and share outcomes with your team. We recently announced two of our biggest features at yet Aurelius now offers transcriptions and our automatic report Builder, you can add any audio or video recording and have notes created for you automatically. Then Aurelius automatically creates a report with key insight and recommendation from your project which you can then edit design and share with anyone right from Aurelius. Check us out at Aureliuslab.com. That’s aureliuslab.com. Okay, let’s get to it.
Hey, Alba. Hey Zach, how are you? Not too bad. Things are looking up. I think we’re recording this episode. So for folks who listen we’re recording it fresh into the year 2021 so far so good sunny skies, and you know some things kind.
Looking looking upward how about yourself? I am just excited that it’s properly winter over here in Boston. I am in Northeast girl. So I love seeing white on the ground. So it’s a good start to the new year. Yeah. I agree. It was a interesting thing. I’m in Minneapolis and we didn’t have any snow. I typically would have snow even before Thanksgiving if we did actually have a big snowfall in October before Halloween if you can believe but then it all went away because warmed up we didn’t think we were going to have any snow for Christmas when you know the Wednesday of
That week. It just dumped on us. It was kind of awesome very lucky. We were a balmy 65 over here. So unfortunately was a green Christmas super weird super weird, especially in Boston climate change. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, it’s super weird and kind of sad and for many reasons, but we can talk about the weather quite a lot. I’m sure but before we kind of dig into things, you know, maybe introduce yourself for folks who are familiar with your work and some of the things that you share talk a little bit about you know, who you are what you’re passionate about. Yeah. So, my name is Alba Villamil. I’m an independent.
User researcher who works mainly in the social sector my particular case that means most of my collaborators our community organizations that deliver Social Services to historically marginalized and vulnerable populations. And my main focus is using research to produce more Equitable Service delivery for those populations. I’m also a facilitator at Humanity centered which is an online course and Community for design professionals and their
I teach about research and design ethics mainly challenge community members to think about how the ethical principles that guide their work might be doing more harm than good. That’s an interesting point. The last thing you just said might be doing more harm than good. Can you expand on that a little bit? Yeah. So, you know for me I thinks are essentially principles that guide our actions so that we can achieve a certain vision of the world, but when I often hear designer
As in researchers talk about ethics. They never actually Define that vision and what I like to think about is what are the principles that I can guide my work in so that I can actually achieve that vision and so for me I want to create an equitable tearing world, but certain principles that are common practices in our
tree are not the best steps to take in order to achieve that vision and I would imagine that you’ve run into this where sometimes they’re actually in direct contrast to each other. Absolutely. Yes. I’m kind of thinking of this one project that I worked on several years ago. I was doing some consult a ssion with a social Enterprise that connected Syrian refugees to online work one of the things that we were trying.
I’m to promote in the design of the platform that we would you know create is inclusion. Right? Like we wanted to make sure that this product could include people and was accessible to anyone regardless of the tech access that they had regardless of their gender religion particular ethnic group. But what ended up happening in this particular case, is that when we try to work with
With corporate Partners. So those were the people that would actually provide the online work for these workers. They made us fulfill certain criteria in who we brought onto the platform. You know, when we were doing some works with these corporate social responsibility managers. They were like, well, where did you find these folks? What type of documentation do they have? And essentially they were trying to ask are these people?
But in a way that was very polite, right because they saw that this population were mainly Syrian. They were mainly refugees they were Brown in comparison to themselves. So that must mean that they are terrorists. And so we ended up designing this very wonderfully inclusive, you know, onboarding experience and platform that essentially forced people to prove that they were not terrorists.
So for me this principle of inclusion is really fascinating because it doesn’t actually Force us to challenge why are certain groups excluded in the first place? What are the factors that led to that exclusion that is really really interesting perspective and account of how that’s flipped. Right? It’s almost like the anti promise. Yes, you can work on inclusion, but
Out asking the question like you say, how did we get here? Why was there a exclusion I would imagine you can’t really address that problem until you start asking that right and getting answers to that. Absolutely like another one that kind of comes to mind another not necessarily principle, but element of research that we often kind of promote in our work is the idea of Rapport write something that’s so incredibly foundational to our work right one of the first things that we
Are taught are what are the strategies that you can use to make a participant comfortable in an interview or an observation setting so that they feel that you are the right person that they can share their story with but I think one of the things that we don’t account for then when we are using those strategies is that a lot of these participants might interpret this interview almost in a therapeutic sense, right? Like they have this person who is asking these questions.
Ann’s personal questions that maybe they had never had asked of them before and this person is listening very politely and kindly and is nodding their head and might even give them a hug or give them some forms of affirmation by going home or that’s interesting tell me more and so for a lot of folks just being in that type of environment makes them share things that they probably would never have shared with
With anyone else and that can feel very cathartic but some participants might also have the reaction where they feel really distracts. They might even become re-traumatized because they are sharing these very deep personal issues for us as researchers. We spend so much time developing skills to create Rapport, but we are completely under qualified.
Handle any psychological, you know effects of that Rapport so we can actually harm people in that creation of that very close intimate relationship during an interview session. Yeah. Wow. Yeah, I mean really great point to bring up and I can’t imagine is something that crossed everybody’s mind. I have to back up because we’ve actually covered a lot of ground in only two of those instances that you’ve gave right? So and I want to address both of the first one is
that situation the project you had with a lot of folks who happen to be Syrian and then there was this idea of inclusion, but essentially building an onboarding process to say are you a terrorist which can be pretty insensitive particularly to those who are not terrorists right? I got to ask you to what did you do in that situation and what sort of things would you might talk to and somebody who is in a similar situation to to address that and work on that? I didn’t do anything in that case. I have to admit it was one of my first projects it was one of my first clients. I was really excited.
About the mission of the organization and I didn’t have any power to say otherwise and I feel something that a lot of people don’t understand when if they haven’t done work in the social sector is that so much of the impact that we can have is linked to funding criteria. So in the case of this organization we had to rely on these, you know,
Corporate social responsibility departments to provide funding as well as the jobs or our you know workers we had to go along with the stipulations that they made and I think this is something that even if you are not working with a social Enterprise you’re working with a non-profit you’re working with a community organization your funders or whoever is paying the bills are really the people who are going to be defining who is eligible for
the service says what kind of services are offered and how they are administered and if you don’t accept those conditions where are you in that case and I think you know just like in general you will often see for example nonprofits or social Enterprises will you know reject clients that might actually be normally consistent with their mission because of the funders they might select clients that thought to have the most potential to actually
reduce the outcome that those funders are interested in Moving And so there’s all of these other factors that we can go into but like that is in the weeds there yeah well you know I actually think it’s pretty relevant especially in kind of a recurring theme on our show to and things that we talked about is something I’m personally also very passionate about which is I think designers and researchers need to be better at understanding businesses and how they work and operate and the EU just described that it’s with nonprofits and social sector but the thing is kind of the punch line of the joke is follow the money and that
Where you’ll find the truth of you know, the goals and intentions and Mission in some cases of regardless the organization type. That’s where you’re going to get your answers of what you’re really working to. Yeah, but I think what’s unfortunate is that a lot of people enter this space, right? They want to use design to create social good. They want to create social impact and you can absolutely do that in this space. But you know again because of the funding structure, it’s probably going to be short-term time-limited.
Heavily specialized you’re only going to be looking at metrics of efficiency and headcount rather than the actual outcomes in these people’s lives and that can be I think psychologically really draining for a lot of researchers and designers doing this work. And so something that I always say is like one of the things that you need before you enter this field as a good therapist. Yeah. I mean this you take on a lot that you have think you don’t expect and you
a couple situations that I’ve actually I’ve had happened to me in research sessions where people would outright say wow I’ve never actually told anybody this before and I’m essentially a complete stranger to them and that’s a it’s an interesting position to be put in right I actually recall one project in particular I was talking with folks a lot about their personal health and some of their goals and aspirations around that and they were sharing things with me that I just never expected that actually really affected me and it makes you want to do so much more and it makes you feel responsible for having a much bigger impact and sometimes you don’t have
the ability to have you know and so that can be really difficult with the example of that project in the one that we were just describing it is there anything that you would have done differently You know despite the fact that maybe you didn’t have the power and you didn’t have the voice and legs to stand on to make some of those calls I think something that I have been trying to integrate more deliberately in my work is being transparent with participants and your end-users about the position you’re in as a researcher your organization
And I don’t necessarily mean that in a way of hey, I’m doing this but like my hands are tied behind my back. I don’t really have responsibilities. It’s more about making sure that when these folks are getting involved with this design process that they are completely aware of the limitations of what you can do what you can promise and what are the conditions that are going to
to meet them the end of this process I think for us we tend to think about consent for example is something that participants give at the beginning of a project and then that form is kind of tucked away in our organizations. But really we should be thinking about consent as something that participants should actively refused unless they seem real value in what you’re providing them. And so that transparency is really to try to get
to understand this is all that I can provide for you do you still feel comfortable with me obtaining your stories and trying to build something with it even if it may not amount to anything and a lot of participants have never been asked that especially if they come from marginalized communities that are over researched and never see the fruits of the labor that they put in to a research project really excellent points yeah consent is my gosh one of the things
that I wish we were more deliberate about in our field and thankfully there are some folks in like the re Ops Community who are trying to think about how can we design consent processes and products allow some flexibility for participants right can they you know choose the elements of their story that researchers asked about to begin with can they take away data once it’s already put into the
They said the researcher has created if the participant changes their mind about what they want to share. Can they put time limits on the use of that data? So it’s really exciting. I think to see how technologists are approaching it but even outside of that and I think we as researchers really need to be more mindful of what we’re asking people to engage in when they start a research project with us. Sure. No, I have to imagine that a lot of this directly funnels into the work you’re doing then
Then with Humanity centered absolutely. I mean, so my whole module on ethics is really centered around the idea of refusal. I have been really fascinated with a lot of literature on like decolonization and this idea of marginalized communities refusing to participate in someone else’s ideas.
Of their own communities, right? It’s about ownership of one’s ideas as well as ownership over one’s portrayal and I was thinking of refused I was like, well, we can really actually expand that idea Beyond just consent we can think about what are all of the principles that we can refuse in our work all the apparent Goods in our industry. That really are
A harmful to the people that were working with. Yeah for sure. Can you talk about that a little bit more? Yeah, so absolutely. I mean I talked a little bit about Rapport at the beginning right so refusing that idea another one that I refuse is the idea of doing no harm. Mmm. We often, you know, if you look at a lot of value statements or ethical principles that researchers list, usually Do no harm
Is the first one right and in a bit self Do no harm is important, but it doesn’t actually address the power asymmetry between the participant and the researcher. So if I ask someone to participate in an interview and I’m making sure that the conditions of this interview will not harm that person that participant is not actually benefiting from this. I’m the one who gets their story even if I compensate.
That person monetarily or with a gift card. I’m still the one who once I get their story. I will be the one who gets promoted. If the design meets certain metrics. I’m the one who will get public recognition for the design, you know with the industry. The participant doesn’t necessarily see anything unless that design actually changes their outcome is something that I have been really thinking about is. Okay. Let’s
Hmm the idea of Do no harm and instead Orient our work towards care, right? How can we make this interaction between researcher and the participant mutually beneficial for both parties, right? How can we make sure that we recognize our ability to harm that we Empower them and build trust and that we actually provide
True Value and there’s all of these different behaviors that we can engage in as researchers to do that. Yeah. This is pretty deep stuff. I like this a lot. Can you give an example of that? Like what are steps we can take assuming to folks are listening to this and go. Well. Yeah, I care about that. What can I do to start practicing it? Yeah, so, you know when we say Do no harm really usually what we do is like okay. I’m not going to engage in anything. That’s obviously dangerous right? Like I will not conduct a research.
Session assuming we go back to in-person research that any kind of food. I will not conduct this study in an area that is dangerous or in an area that it takes a very long time for this participant to travel to so it’s very expensive and time intensive for that person to get there. Micah’s harm could also be like economic harsher wasting someone’s time the opportunity cost of getting there. But if we were to
Make this research session centered around care. We would really try to think about. Okay, how can we change the elements of this environment to make sure that this person feels grounded that this person doesn’t feel like they have no autonomy in this situation. So I used to sometimes bring in with me these like little devices or little
It’s that you can like squeeze. So if someone gets nervous they can just like start squeezing these like they call medicine balls or something like that. I don’t know what her stress balls fastballs exactly. You know, can you have that do you provide food there? If someone is a parent do you provide babysitting so that the person can actually bring the child to the location and doesn’t have to worry about the child. Do you actually have toys for the child there? So in case there’s no babysitter.
You actually integrate that child’s into the session, right? Those are just like physical things that we can do to the environment what even just like the types of chairs that you use are you using chairs that only fit a certain type of body type or do you have variety of options? So that someone if they have a disability they will feel comfortable. Yeah because they have a choice there. So just little things like that. This is this is awesome. I don’t think those are little things at all. I mean, this is awesome.
Sounds like extremely thorough in the way that you’re thinking about this and talking about it and sharing this is really really valuable stuff. I have to believe for pretty much everybody listening, you know, one of the things that you said earlier about ethics and inclusion and stuff like that is particularly. I keep coming back to that first project that you shared because it’s just a lot there in what little bit you did share. There’s a lot to steal unpack their rate because you kind of say like they were essentially asking if you were tears but in a really polite way and that’s how a lot of this stuff happens. It doesn’t on the
Surface, it doesn’t look like exclusion or it doesn’t look like lack of interest in diversity. Right? It all seems very polite. But I think in many cases people don’t realize that that’s the case. Absolutely. I mean, this is a larger problem in society and how we use language to hide violence, you know. Yeah, like art designs can be violent questions can be weapons. You know, what you
I to put on a form and the language that you use can be incredibly harmful. Even if the participant doesn’t necessarily realize it because they belong to the same cultural systems as you do so they probably subscribe to the same ideas. I mean when we were, you know interacting with workers and we were doing usability testing on you know, our onboarding forms and the platform. I felt really uncomfortable as a researcher asking them to go through certain tasks But ultimately my
Participants were desperate enough because of their current socio-economic conditions and you know Freight their frame of mind is this is something that will help me feed my family afraid. I don’t care if you essentially put my name in a database make me go through all of these different surveillance processes because ultimately this is a way for me to get two dollars and that
Help feed my family from half a week. Yeah, and that again goes back to the power imbalance between your participants and you as the researcher and that’s something that we can never get rid of unfortunately, especially if we’re doing work in this space. And so it’s what we decide to do with that power. I think is the question and what what are we trying to kind of challenge? Yeah I can now.
Now I have more of an awareness of okay. So this is the way that this project is going to be funded. So I already know. Okay, like you are trying to Target these funders. They’re going to have certain stipulations. Yeah, I’m not going to work on this project. Yeah, I mean a financially secure position that I can reject those types of projects. Sure. Yeah, you have the experience to recognize that stuff. Amy experience cures. A lot of ills doesn’t it? You know, I have to say very wisely put on your part.
The one thing you said that power Dynamic will never go away. But how will you choose to act on that is really what affects the outcome. I think that’s those are very very wise words. A lot of this will come with experience. I’m curious, you know, is it simply enough for people to say I need to just speak up about this? I see I see an issue here, ethically or otherwise you notice is that enough or should people be doing more in those kind of situations. I don’t feel comfortable prescribing what people should do because I think there’s two elements that really
Lee well at least two there’s more that there’s kind of like two main things that I think you have to consider as a designer, I think the first thing is to figure out what is kind of the ethical orientation of your organization and then the second is what is the ethical infrastructure of your organization, and I guess the third one is your position, you know, I’m a woman I’m a person of color I have certain privileges, but I also lack certain.
Because of my identity and my positionality so those three things we have to negotiate. So when I say ethical orientation, you know certain orgs because they are more mature they’ve been around for longer. They are either oriented towards just their business goals. They’re oriented towards participants or they’re oriented towards the larger Community. I think the more mature and organization is the
More likely, they will be oriented towards participants and communities because they are large enough that bad press is actually something that can hurt the business. Mmm. A lot of the kind of ethical changes that big companies like Google have engaged in is because they got bad press and now some of their changes were not necessarily substantial or they were more performative than actual connections.
Really change things but they respond to the public a start-up who is just considered, you know just concerned about growing their going to be just oriented towards the organization. So their sense of Ethics is going to be about maybe compliance and like the law but other than that, like there’s really no incentive for them to do anything more than that. And then when I say the ethical infrastructure of an organization again this kind of ties into the maturity of the organization, but the older
Or an organization is the more likely they have dedicated roles and processes related to ethics. So large companies have Chief ethics officers, for example other companies. They might have at like the managerial level these practices where you can anonymously submit ideas of you know, I don’t want to do this or like we cannot do this. We need to check in on that. And so they already have that process of engaging in criticism or internal criticism.
And trying to figure out solutions to address those. So as a designer you need to think how do those two things match up in your particular situation and then given your position ality the amount of power you have the type of people you have in your network, how can you take advantage of that infrastructure in that orientation to create change? Yeah. That’s awesome. It’s clear you’ve given a lot of thought to this and I definitely appreciate why.
A you say you’re hesitant to prescribe given that explanation because I think that that works really well and can apply to anyone right in its it’s flexible enough for you to say as you kind of mentioned earlier make the choice with the power that you have right win and then it’s prescriptive. I think it’s useful for introspection like it. You know what you just described it allows people to not only take a look at well, what’s this company? I’m involved with or potentially going to be involved with what’s their position and ability to act on this stuff. But then what’s my own sort of?
Compass, right. Yeah, and I think two people underestimate you don’t necessarily have to try to make ethical change just through your company. So one of the things that I have been engaging in this, you know past year is how can I help the communities that I work with holds designers to a higher standard. So rather than try to convince my stakeholders to engage in more ethical research. I
Help communities understand that they have rights and that they do have power even if they don’t have the institutional power of my stakeholders. We as researchers rely on data if we cannot collect data our asses are going to be handy. Yeah, right. So I have to convince you as a participant to work with me if I can encourage participants to ask researchers, for example
This data going to be used for who is going to be accessing it. How long is it going to last in your data repository? And what are you going to do? If the outcomes of this design have negative externalities having people understand that they can ask those questions is really powerful. So I designed with like another researcher this Workshop to essentially help immigrants who in this particular location have
I’ve been over researched by various institutions and organizations to just basically say no or no unless you address these demands that we have. Yeah, so you can do it in that sense. You can also you know go the LA beings route. You can go into politics. You can actually try to change Tech policy at different levels. And this kind of reminds me of a lot of this activist by the name of Sati Hamid and
One of the things that I really appreciate about her is that she is an abolitionist someone who really is trying to stop the use of surveillance Technologies in black and brown communities now for her she obviously is very suspicious of internal activist, right like so employees within companies to try to create change from the inside. It’s very suspicious of them because it
very hard to engage in that change making from the inside but she also acknowledges the fact while they are trying to create change on the inside that slows the company down which gives her time as an activist on the ground and on the outside to engage in the change-making that she wants to do. So, I think something that I really love about her approach is like try to make change from where you are because all of these things as long as
We have this Collective goal will help move the needle and we do need people on the inside. We need people on the outside. We need people in the legislature and we need people in communities. Yeah start where you are start with what you know start with your skill set. Don’t try to jump into something that you are completely unprepared to engage in because of your position ality and your identity. I love it. It reminds me of a saying that can apply to many things in life.
Life do what you can with what you have where you are. Exactly. Yeah. I love it. That’s that’s really great. I’m curious again. You’ve clearly given a lot of thought to this and you have a ton of background in it particularly with Humanity Senator. I’m curious right because the work you’re doing there. What would you love to see? Let’s say a year from now three years from now where you can say, you know, what we’re having an impact. We’re doing the things we want to were accomplishing and giving back in the way that we want to honestly at this point because of the way that a lot of
Brit America works, I just want people to be talking about these things. I think people lack the language to discuss issues of inclusion and equity and Humanity as abstract as that concept is giving someone a feeling of empowerment so that they can take these Concepts to their personal life or apply them to their personal life and then take them to their teams and talk to their employers about that.
I would just love to see that because one of the things that we heard a lot from our members in the first cohort is just there’s not even an opportunity for me to say these things in my word. Yeah, and so the idea is that if we can have more employees that are exposed to these ideas having that group of people is comforting it gives an opportunity for Dissent and complex conversations to emerge but
Just a numbers game then one person coming to this course that’s very difficult for them again to make that change unless they are at a managerial or senior level within their teams. So yeah, it’s just having more people talking about it so that there’s more of a carved out space in our workplaces to be discussing. These topics is what I would like to see in the next couple of years. Nice awesome. I think that that’s really true and definitely ties back to something else that you said.
Said that I couldn’t agree more with which is collections of people have a lot more power than they realized because all of us, right. It doesn’t matter. If you’re just a Community member if you’re somebody in a position like ours professionally and research and ux right? We think of ourselves because we have to take care of ourselves first and so will then we also think of the impact just ourselves can have our single person but the reality is, you know, you’re very right where the collective is much stronger than the whole and there are no superheroes right like the whole do what you can with what you have where you are we
And hope that anybody any one single person were believe that any one single person is going to have that impact. We all have got to do the work. Yeah, and I think that this is a very perverse idea that Silicon Valley has promoted for its own benefit. Right? Like we have this idea of the Maverick designer who was able to, you know, create this product like apple and Steve Jobs, right? Like he’s brilliant this he’s that he can change the world just one man at a time.
And I think having that language inscribed and just like pervading every single part of our work as designers and technologists have really kind of blinded us to the idea that it’s in the collective that things change. Now. This doesn’t mean that you as an individual cannot create change, but I think Tech has really isolated us in many ways. And I think the part that it’s most
into creating social change within our organizations and outside of it is the idea that you as the lone person are going to be you know creating social change rather than you as the lone person can join another loan quote person create a collective and then create social change totally it’s pretty arrogant to have that idea to begin with but interestingly if we kind of expand that even just within companies I think it’s short-sighted to say just um
X or design or product has the power to change that that’s not true because everybody in your product org can be on the same page but if the rest of the business is not inclined to do so because there isn’t as you mentioned inside and or outside pressure or you know even incentive in some cases to do so that’s not going to work so you know nobody no single person and I don’t think any one single group is the hero of that yeah you’re right it’s a perverse notion I think we like that because we like the idea of being able to become that in some ways where we would all love
but it’s simply not true and I think that the sooner we come to terms with let’s all start doing the work together that’s when things can really really move forward yes something I mean I try not to engage too much on design Twitter because it’s just not my mental health but one of the things that really upset me a couple of years ago was there was this incident where a designer had just been hired I think by Facebook and at the time Facebook was undergoing a
lot of criticism rightfully so because things that they had been engaged in and everyone piled on that designer for celebrating their new job and it was a woman of color and to me I was like you’re directing the attention at the wrong person and because the conversation started shifting to oh well because of design ethics like you as the designer you as the researcher have the ability to leave your work if you are
Engaged in you know unethical design but no one was defining unethical designs. No one was defining or exploring. Why is it that this company that has existed for many years is now only getting criticized and this one designer in this huge organization rather than the generation of design leaders that came before that person who probably should have made stronger statements about
About issues of accessibility and inclusion and politics is getting blamed that one person. So to me, it’s just not a productive conversation to lose talk about ethics in such an individualistic way. And so something that I always try to encourage people to think about is what is the organization doing? Hmm. Forget the individual. What is the orientation of that organization? What is the infrastructure of that organization and start there? What can we do to create?
Change there. Yeah, great points, you know in the interest of giving credit where it’s due everything has to start somewhere, but you’re totally right like to just two single one person I would is again we’ll use the word short-sighted. Yeah. I definitely think it was racialized as well. So, you know, I don’t think it’s an accident that so it’s like one person the way that she looks her race of her gender as opposed to all of the other Bros the design Bros who are in the field who are working at Facebook totally.
I realized that we’re coming up towards the end of our chat. I need to be respectful of your time. One of the things I typically ask towards the end of the show’s is if I forgot everything we talked about and somebody came up to you and said hey, how did that go? What did you chat about your what’s the thing that you would want everybody remember from the conversation? We had want everyone to recognize that even though social change happens in collectives. The one thing that you can do as an individual is to begin to
What is presented in front of you? So if there are certain principles certain tools certain Frameworks that are stated as a given actually investigate how those things can cause harm and refuse them and try to formulate Alternatives that can allow you to achieve the vision of the world that you want to create all about refused though. Awesome. I really appreciate the answer in particular the
One thing that you said around refusal of this then presenting Alternatives. I think that that’s so key. You know so many people want to get angry or want to push back against something but don’t consider what happens next. We can all say we don’t like this. We don’t want that or this is bad, but you got to work to say here’s what it should be replaced with her here. Here’s how it can be different. I think that’s so critical. Is there anything that you want to share with folks that we didn’t talk about today? You can share with them. Now. I definitely think if people are looking for alternatives.
How to kind of elevate Humanity in their personal life and in their workplaces and the design work that they engage in checking out Humanity centered I think is one option personally. I’m also working on organizing couple of events around race and user research. So, how can we kind of come up with alternative research methods to make sure that the designs we create are not racist.
Just so I’m giving a talk at aux RC in February on what I call colorblind racism how our processes ignore the presence of race and racism and I’m also organizing a panel with just like some fantastic researchers on January 29th, and they will be talking about the way that their race influences their approach to user research. We can find all that information on my
page or on LinkedIn awesome okay well and we’ll make sure to have links in the show notes for some of those things that you discuss to so you know for folks listening if you want to check that out if you come in to listen on our actual page you can just scroll down you’ll have links to that stuff and you can check out more of the work that Alba and her team are doing particularly many Senator didn’t some of those toxic you’re mentioning fantastic yet please check them out they’re going to be awesome yeah for sure well I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me today I
I am certain folks have a lot to chew on from the chat that we have here in things to consider and I know I could personally talk more about this with you for probably a couple more hours but I need to be respectful of your time I just want to say thanks again I appreciate you joining me and thank you for having me there’s always you know Season 4 5 that’s right station that’s right we have we actually have had repeat guests to I mean we’re our show’s been around long enough now so awesome if you’re up for it I mean be careful what you wish for let me know exactly let me know
Very cool. Alright, everybody will see you next time. This podcast is brought to you by Aurelius the research and insights tool that helps you analyze search and share all your research in one place. So you can go from data to insights to action faster and easier check out Aurelius for yourself with a 30-day trial by going to Aurelius lab.com. That’s a you re Liu es el a b.com. If you enjoyed this episode it would mean a lot if you would give us a review on
Ooh on iTunes let others know what you think. You can catch all-new episodes of the Aurelius podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts like iTunes Spotify and more stay up to date when new episodes come out by signing up for email updates on our website.