We make an abundance of choices daily and an increasing proportion of those choices are in an online context. Digital nudges refer to the use of design elements that guide the decision-making process towards a predefined goal. An important consideration when designing digital nudges is the ethical implications. In this study, we examine how future designers perceive ethics and the use of digital nudges as design elements in interaction design. We conducted a case study with 72 design students at two Nordic universities with a focus on the future designers’ perception of ethics and the use of digital nudges as design elements. We show that ethics and reflection on responsibility are highly important aspects of choice architecture design and future designers understand ethics as crucial for design work, yet few reflect on whether a specific design or a nudge is ethical or not. Moreover, when it comes to nudging as a design element, both positive and ambivalent attitudes are common. Our main contribution consists of an in-depth understanding of future designers’ perspectives on nudging, and we forward four fundamental questions which have implications for teaching the ethics of choice architecture to future designers.
Willermark, Sara and Islind, Anna Sigridur, "CHOICE ARCHITECTURE, FRIEND, OR FOE? FUTURE DESIGNERS’ PERSPECTIVE ON THE ETHICS OF DIGITAL NUDGES" (2022). 13th Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems. 4.