The industrial revolution ushered unparalleled productivity and progress but at the same time ravaged the environment, contributing to climate change and other ecological imbalances that now threaten the globe. This is called “the development paradox.”
In the digital industry, user-centred development has given birth to technologies that suit specific users’ needs and preferences. User experience consulting firms now thrive due to their abilities to create solutions for specific user problems.
However, some tech trends also gave rise to complexities such as ethical issues, that need to be addressed.
The information technology (IT) revolution is moving towards various directions. Today, there is hardly any aspect of modern living untouched by internet connectivity, online interactions and other digital technologies.
Three-dimensional interfaces were at one point revolutionary, but have become dated with the rise of virtual and augmented reality technologies that blur the line between real and virtual experiences. In fact, global revenues within the virtual reality (VR) gaming industry are projected to grow from $0.4 billion in 2017 to $2.4 billion by 2024 while sales of augmented reality products which is expected to rise astronomically by 85% in the next four years.
The COVID-19 pandemic also brought numerous changes, as technological applications in health care systems have become not only urgent but fashionable as nations seek to rapidly enhance medical services. For example, in regions such as Southeast Asia where businesses prioritise user experience, Singapore developers leveraged mobile communications for telehealth services.
In UX design, voice user interfaces (Voice UI) that can recognise voice commands have revolutionised the way people interact and utilise their devices. In market research, AI-assisted consumer behaviour tracking bolstered the ability of businesses to determine market preferences and project purchasing behaviour trends to strategically position their goods.
Furthermore, innovations that can affect user behaviour like the Apple Smart Phone’s health monitoring functions can alter people’s behaviour and routines. Behaviour monitoring has also become a mainstream data collection strategy in UX research. Its growing patronage in areas such as personal development and self-improvement suggests its popularity will rise further in the coming years.
Is it not unethical to access and monitor personal data from the internet? Is it morally justifiable to replace human services with artificial intelligence? How long before simulated reality is applied to pornographic and violent materials? Will digital behaviour monitoring soon replace surveys, interviews, focus group studies and other participatory human research methods?
There is no denying the positive value of digital transformation on efficiency and convenience. However, the positive gains have also come with negative consequences and a seeming loss of balance (Georgiana, et.al., 2020).
The damaging effects of social media, the economic consequences of using AI to augment human labour, the environmental hazards of mining for cryptocurrency and device manufacturing, and the ethical issues of behaviour monitoring and manipulation are among the many unresolved issues of the digital age.
Despite the formation of potentially harmful by-products in the development of technology, mankind is balancing the consequences through further improvements. Green technologies, updating ethical practices, and consulting with future-forward service providers are some of the ways technology corrects itself.
Thus, it is important to find digital transformation services committed to ethical design. Companies should strive to achieve their desired results but with strict adherence to accessibility, privacy, environmental laws, and fair use. One such ethical service provider is Singapore-based User Experience Researchers Pte. Ltd. Our years of experience in UI UX design and dedication to industry best practices have contributed to successful partnerships with leading global education institutions, healthcare centres, and other companies. Visit https://www.user.com.sg/ to discover more about USER services and products.