In the redesigned design process, there were several new steps introduced. One of the key steps is evaluating, essentially figuring out whether or not the problem statement you've defined is ethically worthy of being solved. Once you’ve defined a legitimate problem, how do you go about figuring out if the problem ought to be addressed? This stage of the redesigned process goes after the empathize and define stages in the typical design process. After you’ve completed the define step, you’ll likely have a point of view statement, which is parsed out below.
The need section is the part that is important to analyze. Is it benefitting users or society? Think back to the duty-based ethics we discussed in Designing Ethically Pt. 1. Is the intention good? And while you’re still in that frame of mind, try analyzing if the identified, positive, user need has any negative collateral. For example, check out the following graphic.
Try going through these considerations and figuring out if your user need aligns with one of the categories on the left side without necessitating one of negative categories on the right side. For example, if we are trying to bring in a product like Airbnb into a new community to help a group of people (namely the hosts that live there as well as the tourists that visit)…will we be able to do so without putting down another group (put more bluntly, without gentrifying the area)?
These lists of positive needs and negative collateral are by no means set in stone and should be added to in the future. This step of evaluating problem statements does not mean that you shouldn’t develop any new product just because it might intertwine with negative collateral. If that were the case, we’d never develop anything. Evaluating just means taking the time to consider the ramifications of your user need with a wider lens. It also primes us to start thinking in a way that will come in handy when we jump into forecasting “unforeseen consequences."