Ethical design, how does it work? Suggestion of an agile DIY framework

A presentation at World Usability Day 2019 in Berlin, Germany in in Berlin, Germany by Alexander Kluge

Ethical design, how does it work? Suggestion of an agile DIY framework

Ethical design, how does it work? Suggestion of an agile DIY framework

It is not possible for technology companies and technological progress (of hardware and software) to be coordinated or even restricted with regard to citizens’ interests. You can get this impression when tech companies are permitted this and that (ethically and humanly questionable). This can make you feel helpless and powerless because it is so convenient to use these technologies.

How can digital, Internet-enabled products and services be ethically designed? The ethical design tools exist and we have access to them.

The question is also: In which digital world do we want to live (and why should we tolerate anymore that giant corporations take over our last global playground of democracy and destroy the space where our unique sandcastles are built to replace them with their uniform structures?) One solution is the Agile Mini Framework for Ethical DIY Design.



The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.


    Central hub of me (Alexander Kluge / where I reveal the magic behind the curtain 🙌

  • @naii at Mastodon

    Contact me in the fediverse on my Mastodon instance

  • Tiny Tent 🏕 Technology

    Ethical goods and services as well as a (soon to be) not-for-profit that is building tools for people to improve the quality of their lives, and strengthening the ideals of democracy, self-responsibility, identity awareness, open knowledge, and decentralization.

  • Short link to this presentation

  • Slides in German

  • Video recording of the presentation at HTW Berlin (Nov 14, 2019)

  • [Reading tip] The nature of the self in the digital age

    „Your smart television, the watch on your wrist, your kid’s new Barbie doll and the car that you drive (drives you?) all have one thing in common: they all work by gathering data – personal information – about you, your friends, and your family. While this might sound creepy in and of itself, it is not the real problem.”

  • [Reading tip - German] Video: Die Angst der Machteliten vor dem Volk

    Im Prinzip geht es um den „immensen Machtungleichheit zwischen dem Einzelnen und Konzernen, und zwischen Bürgern und ihren Regierungen“ wie Aral Balka in „Wir sind alle Cyborgs” schreibt.

  • [Reading tip] Universal Declaration of Cyborg Rights

    „The goal of The Universal Declaration of Cyborg rights is to extend the scope of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights so that it applies the protections of the human rights we already have to the extended boundaries of the self that people have in the age of networked digital technologies and the Internet.”

  • Maslow’s Human Needs (TED Radio Hour by NPR)

    „Humans need food, sleep, safety, love, purpose. Psychologist Abraham Maslow ordered our needs into a hierarchy. This week, TED speakers explore that spectrum of need, from primal to profound.”

  • Who Created Maslow’s Iconic Pyramid?

    „A new paper investigates the real origins of Maslow’s pyramid.”

  • Ethical Design Manifesto

    Technology that respects the human person is ethical. Moreover, ethical technology respects human (and cyborg) rights so it’s decentralized, private, open, interoperable, accessible, secure and sustainable.

    Ethical technology respects human effort and therefore it’s functional, convenient and reliable.

    And ethical technology respects human experience which makes it work like magic and delightful.

  • Manifesto for Agile Software Development

    We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

    Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan

    That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

  • The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

    „Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?”

  • - Ethical alternatives to popular sites and apps

    Ethical, easy-to-use and privacy-conscious alternatives

  • Glitch

    „Glitch is the friendly community where everyone builds the web. Simple, powerful, free tools to create and use millions of apps.”

  • freeCodeCamp

    „Learn to code. Build projects. Earn certifications. Since 2014, more than 40,000 graduates have gotten jobs at tech companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Spotify.”

  • DEV Community

    „DEV is a community of 264,947 amazing humans who code.”

  • Neocities: Create your own free website!

    „Create your own free website. Unlimited creativity, zero ads. Neocities is a social network of 263,000 web sites that are bringing back the lost individual creativity of the web. We offer free static web hosting and tools that allow you to create your own web site. Join us!”

  • Uberspace - Hosting on Asteroids

    A German web hosting company for technical people (hackers, Shell lovers, Unix friends, privacy enthusiasts) and creatives in various fields (inventing, making, creating, writing, photography), by the Uberspace team which is Jonas, Andreas, Matthias, Moritz, Micoto, Kim, Natascha, Michael, Christian, Nicolas und Leah.


    Indie is Aral Balkan and Laura Kalbag, two European designers who build things. is now Small Technology Foundation.

  • Dat Foundation - A Community-Driven Web Protocol

    „Technology built by community, financed responsibly, and given away for free to the public.”

    They’re building dat:// which is a peer-to-peer protocol.

  • Code for Science & Society

    The nonprofit behind Dat Foundation.

  • - Beautiful, Secure, Privacy-Respecting Laptops & Phones

    „Purism is the brainchild of our founder and CEO, Todd Weaver. In 2014, watching his daughters growing up, Todd was increasingly concerned about the exploitative direction of the tech industry; out of this concern, he launched a crowdfund to form Purism – a company dedicated to freedom, privacy, and security.”

  • Small Technology Foundation

    „We’re a tiny and independent two-person not-for-profit based in Ireland. We advocate for and build small technology to protect personhood and democracy in the digital network age. Small Technology are everyday tools for everyday people designed to increase human welfare, not corporate profits.”

  • Studiolist - Best Recording Studios for Digital Voiceover Nomads

    „ is a growing database of voiceover recording studios for voice actors, audiobook narrators, YouTube creators and podcast makers who travel a lot! I verify the studios by meeting with the studio owner/manager in person and have a look at the recording booth and control room. So far I’ve verified close to 100 studios.”

  • Site.js (by Small Technology Foundation)

    „Develop, test, and deploy your secure static or dynamic personal web site with zero configuration.”

  • Better (Ad blocker by Small Technology Foundation)

    „Better is a privacy tool for Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. We protect you from behavioural ads and companies that track and profile you on the web.”

  • Tincan (peer-to-peer web by Small Technology Foundation)

    „Tincan bridges a peer-to-peer network with the centralised web.”

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