Technology addiction issue can only be solved by a separate attachment such as a mind-focus plug-in to existing technology products?
How could we approach the issue of technology addiction from an industry perspective?
How could we change the conversation in a technology company in order to treat technology addiction as an issue that needs to be solved rather than an “advantage” that can be utilized for making profit?
How could we encourage a technology company to design the experience of being alive as human beings rather than being controlled by technologies?
Make to Believe
Project: Technology Reenvisioning & Humanness Rebuilding
Designer: Mei-Ling Lu
Collaborators: Facebook, Toshiba, Chiba University
See the full project on ISSUU
Inspired by Asimov's Three Laws for Robotics, I created the Laws as a starting point to see how the world could change if these rules are introduced into the development process. (Social media platforms as the context.)
The development of technology brings not only convenience but also dehumanization to us. Today, pervasive and ubiquitous technologies are increasingly taking over our life, which addresses the debate of how much humanness we are retaining when using technology products. Most people nowadays are more or less surrendering themselves to technologies and letting technologies negatively impact their life. This is considered as “technology addiction”.
Different from current products that aim to help people overcoming technology addiction as separate attachments to the existing technology products, this project investigates how we could approach the issue from an industry perspective. If the industry could take users’ psychological states and social relationships into consideration while designing technology products, could we change users’ behaviors in a more effective way?
In order to support the idea of designing humane technology products, business also plays a crucial role in the system. Although most humane design ideas demonstrated above seem to conflict with the profit of social media companies (this concern was addressed by the designers at the end of the ideation with the Three Laws), we should look at things from different angles. I proposed three new business models to prove that profit and humanness can exist at the same time.
In order to make the idea replicable (the idea of creating humane technology products), mapping out the system is needed. The system guideline presents the needed elements for forming a complete system, including knowledge areas, actions and expected outcomes for different phases. Technology companies are encouraged to use it as a thought-based toolkit to transform development process.
The Laws are introduced to the designers to challenge the design criteria that they are currently using in order to encourage them to design technology products that “care about human beings”. The outcomes are listed below and defined as "Micro-UXs".
Context: Technology Addiction
1. Policy Making: Three Laws
2. Micro-UXs for Detox
3. Business Models: Balance Humaness & Profit
1+2+3. System Guidelines