Designing for Safety: Key Considerations



September 1, 2021 - 12:00 PM


September 1, 2021 - 1:00 PM

Designing for Safety: Key Considerations

Wednesday, 1 September 2021;  12 Noon to 1:00 PM Eastern time (GMT-4)

“How will our products harm people?” As tech workers, we don’t often ask this question—but we should. Too often, we design for an ideal circumstance that doesn’t account for the complicated personal dynamics our users bring to the table, including dangerous lived realities such as domestic violence. And when we fail to design for our most at-risk users, we end up unintentionally prioritizing their abusers. In this talk, Eva PenzeyMoog will show how every day tech can easily be weaponized for abuse, and how to prevent and mitigate that harm through a specific design strategy of prioritizing our most vulnerable users.

There are no silver bullets when it comes to designing for safety, but knowing and understanding of some of our most common blind spots as designers helps. This brief talk covers the domestic violence threat model as well as specific areas of concern, including trouble with shared accounts, Internet-connected harm, location data, and surveillance. We'll also discuss what designers can learn about authentic consent from the anti-sexual assault space. Finally, the audience will walk away with a high-level overview of implementing a practice of designing for safety into their everyday work.

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