Information Design Lab

The digital presence of Information Design Lab, IDC, IIT Bombay

Professional Ethics for UI/UX Designers

One day workshop held on 7th December, 2014 at IndiaHCI 2014 at IIT Delhi.
Conducted by Venkatesh Rajamanickam, Rasagy Sharma & Noopur Varma


With the country embracing online commerce like never before, the art of persuasion has reached new heights. Books with words such as nudge, influence, persuade, drive, motivate etc., in their titles are lapped up by businesses and adhered to religiously. The line between persuasion and deception, if ever there was one, has never been blurrier. This has put an enormous strain on designers on how to conduct themselves as employees in an organisation and for project managers to know what is accepted practice.

Absence of professional code of conduct, weak consumer rights, lack of legislative remedies (such as this 2011 ruling in the EU states) have only exacerbated the issue. The workshop will start the conversation on the issue, with the objective of spreading awareness among design practitioners and educating businesses by coming up with a set of guidelines for ethical practice that can be taken up with professional bodies such as NASSCOM, be part of design education curricula, aid consumer rights groups and even become help legislation in the future.

The workshop is suitable for business owners, project managers, UI/UX designers, consumer advocates or conscientious consumers.


  1. Introduction (PDF):
    Philosophical foundations of ethics in general, and historical background of design ethics
  2. Behavioural Design (PDF):
    A short introduction to behavioral economics and cognitive psychology, followed by group activity using a behaviour insights toolkit to understand and influence consumer decisions
  3. Indian Legal Framework (by Richa Vashisht from Akosha):
    An overview of current legal framework that governs online commerce, problems with it, and few case studies
  4. Design Patterns (PDF):
    Unethical design activity, followed by reflection & discussion based on the taxonomies of patterns that designers use to persuade consumers explained with concrete examples, checking solution against list and ranking severity of items


Ethics Workshop at IndiaHCI 2014 Ethics Workshop at IndiaHCI 2014 Ethics Workshop at IndiaHCI 2014 Ethics Workshop at IndiaHCI 2014

View more photos on the IndiaHCI Fb page, or Download zip archive (10 Photos, 3.8 MB)

Photo Credits: IndiaHCI 2014 Documentation Team & Rasagy


The full list of references (links & books) is available on the Github repository


You can reach Prof. Venkatesh Rajamanickam via email