The Ethical Ecology of Service Design - An Explorative Study on Ethics in User Research for Service Design

Bertil Carlsson
Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Sweden

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Ingår i: ServDes.2012 Conference Proceedings Co-Creating Services; The 3rd Service Design and Service Innovation Conference; 8-10 February; Espoo; Finland

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 67:8, s. 71-76

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Publicerad: 2013-10-16

ISBN: 978-91-7519-482-0

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Previous studies have shown that ethical situations within design currently present themselves as an implicit and nonreflexive activity. Others promote a development of ethical tools; which are incorporated within the normal set of methods; and tools used during the design process. However within the service design discipline ethical research has been scarce; some might even say lacking completely. In order to shine a light on the ethics within service design this paper explores the ethical design ecology of service design and gives a first sketch of an ethical baseline for the field. The data represents six weeks of shadowing in-house and external service design consultants working in Scandinavia; later to be analysed by the three major normative theories within ethics and an adoption of the Value-Sensitive design framework. The results demonstrate that service designers at the moment often approach ethical problems in an implicit and consequentialist way and that when ethical situations are dealt with explicitly they are often of a nature in which the consequences of the proposed design solution easily can be foreseen.


Service Design; Value-Sensitive Design; Normative Ethics; Ethical Ecology; Value-Sensitive Situations


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