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Using Design Fiction Memos to Analyze UX Professionals' Values Work Practices: A Case Study Bridging Ethnographic and Design Futuring Methods

  • Author(s): Wong, Richmond Y
  • et al.
Abstract

Multiple methods have been used to study how social values and ethics are implicated in technology design and use, including empirical qualitative studies of technologists’ work. Recently, more experimental approaches such as design fiction explore these themes through fictional worldbuilding. This paper combines these approaches by adapting design fictions as a form of memoing, a qualitative analysis technique. The paper uses design fiction memos to analyze and reflect upon ethnographic interviews and observational data about how user experience (UX) professionals at large technology companies engage with values and ethical issues in their work. The design fictions help explore and articulate themes about the values work practices and relationships of power that UX professionals grapple with. Through these fictions, the paper contributes a case study showing how design fiction can be used for qualitative analysis, and provides insights into the role of organizational and power dynamics in UX professionals’ values work.

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