Product Impact: Theory and ethics of behavior steering technology

The research project of Steven Dorrestijn is part of the research program “Design for Usability” in the domain of Industrial Design. Goal of the research in this program is to reduce usability problems with electronic products by developing and offering companies a coherent design methodology to anticipate expectations and needs of users on the one hand, and product influences on use practices on the other.
The project on “Product impact” will contribute to the overall project with a view from philosophy and ethics of technology. It will enrich notions of the relation between humans and artefacts in engineering. And it will critically assess the role of artefacts in determining our lives and the responsibility of designers. In order to realize this, this project focuses on (1) elaborating a framework to anticipate product influences on user practices; (2) translating this framework to the practice of design; and (3) systematically addressing ethical questions resulting from the explicit design of behaviour-steering products