Shallow by design

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Big Tech and Tech in general has a depth problem. Too many decisions are made without fully considering the impact those decisions will have. I am intentionally being quite broad here. I know this isn’t an issue across the board. But it’s hard not to look at where we are as a society and not see the part we play as designers.

With Tech now firmly at the center of most people’s lives, it is alarming to observe the same shallow design choices continually being made on the products people use daily.

Society has a depth problem. And part of blame has to lie in an industry that has seeped into people’s conscious via the apps they use.

Everywhere I look I see shallow. Shallow relationships, shallow thinking, shallow decisions and shallow lives.

You see it in marketing today. Marketing phrases like ‘See it, say it, sorted’ on London trains. Pandering to the masses that rarely look up from their phones and can’t be relied upon to take in any more depth then 5 words. Regardless of how important the information is.

You see it in the shallow, panic-inducing headlines, which effect many peoples mental health — media putting clicks before integrity and revenue ahead of the truth.

You see it in Tech companies shallow ethics, many reliant on selling their users data to make money regardless of the cost to people’s lives.

You see it in companies boasting how addictive their latest app is - not caring that for kids and adults alike, the addiction pulls them away from what really matters.

You see it in the missed opportunity of GDPR. Companies adjusting their T&Cs and privacy policies rather then looking deeper, trying to understand what their customers needs are around data and privacy.

You see it in the algorithms that increasingly give populations the answers to their questions — but answers that are heaped in bias and inequality.

Which brings us full circle back to tech and the reasons why people can’t focus on anything deeper then a 30 minute sitcom on Netflix. While tweeting. And the state of the people’s mental health. So many struggling because of Tech, while Tech continues to make the same choices and do the same things.

The Tech industry sorely needs deeper thinking. More depth in design choices and decision making.

And that starts with the people that work in Tech. People that think deeper — who care about ethics and morals, care about accessibility and all their users no matter who they are.

And who put peoples welfare and happiness first.

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