Animating the Ethical Demand: Exploring user dispositions in industry innovation cases through animation-based sketching

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This paper addresses the challenge of attaining ethical user stances during the design process of products and services and proposes animation-based sketching as a design method, which supports elaborating and examining different ethical stances towards the user. The discussion is qualified by an empirical study of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in a Triple Helix constellation. Using a three-week long innovation workshop, U- CrAc, involving 16 Danish companies and organisations and 142 students as empirical data, we discuss how animation-based sketching can explore not yet existing user dispositions, as well as create an incentive for ethical conduct in development and innovation processes. The ethical fulcrum evolves around Løgstrup’s Ethical Demand and his notion of spontaneous life manifestations. From this, three ethical stances are developed; apathy, sympathy and empathy. By exploring both apathetic and sympathetic views, the ethical reflections are more nuanced as a result of actually seeing the user experience simulated through different user dispositions. Exploring the three ethical stances by visualising real use cases with the technologies simulated as already being implemented makes the life manifestations of the users in context visible. We present and discuss how animation- based sketching can support the elaboration and examination of different ethical stances towards the user in the product and service development process. Finally we present a framework for creating narrative representations of emerging technology use cases, which invite to reflection upon the ethics of the user experience.
TidsskriftComputers & Society (Online Edition)
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)318-326
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2015
BegivenhedETHICOMP 2015: 20 Years of ETHICOMP - De Montfort University, Leicester, Storbritannien
Varighed: 7 sep. 20159 sep. 2015
Konferencens nummer: 16


KonferenceETHICOMP 2015
LokationDe Montfort University


  • sketching
  • ethics
  • animation
  • animation-based sketching
  • prototyping
  • rri
  • innovation
  • user-centered design
  • User Experience Design