Ethics in Design

Wed, Mar 24, 2021, 6:30 PM (MDT)

About this event


Doctors abide by the Hippocratic oath; architects are bound by the AIA Code of Ethics; civil engineers follow ethical norms set by the ASCE. While digital designers don’t have a professional association to keep them on the straight and narrow, they still bear responsibility for the products they create and the effects those products have.

Ethics in design is a fraught topic because it forces us to confront the ramifications of our work and, as Mike Monteiro might say, to see ourselves not as pixel pushers but as gatekeepers unafraid to ask “why” or to say “no.” This session of FOF Denver is all about ethics in design: among other topics, a panel of seasoned designers discuss what we’re responsible for, how to advocate for users, how to effect change within an organization, how to ask “why” and say “no” in ways that get results.

Panelists who have joined us so far include Shalyn Oswald, Matthew Reiswig, Jesse Weaver, Bonnie Kate Wolf (bios below).

Shalyn Oswald

Shalyn is a freelance UX designer and a part time instructor of UX. They have worked as a user experience designer for IBM and brought human-centered design and design thinking to co-workers and clients alike, building empathy from the inside out.

While working on internal systems for clients such as American Express, T-Mobile, Vivint, GSK, and Coca-Cola, Shalyn found their calling in creating accessible and intuitive systems for all the folks whose livelihoods depended on these systems working FOR them, not against them: the everyday employee. Part of that was creating not only something very learnable but also something that helps people feel included no matter their age, background,  gender, or technical proficiency.

Shalyn is passionate about educating folks on the future of technology, and tends to focus on psychology in UX and the unconscious biases that drive our data, our systems, and our lives, as well as being an evangelist for ethical design.

Matthew Reiswig

With over 20 years experience in design, Matthew has had the privilege of working with clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500's, including work with ESPN, Humana, LPGA, Toyota, Dr. Pepper, Garmin, and British Telecom. With his love for user experience methodologies and beautiful design, he has excelled in many roles including owner, partner, creative director, and strategist in some of the most talented design teams in the country.

Matthew currently dedicates his passion to cloud-hungry clients serving as Staff Solutions Architect at VMware. He specializes in user-centered design (UCD), user experience (UX), web-based application design, creative strategy, and branding. Matthew is also committed to teaching and mentoring ethics-focused human-centered designers who will be strong voices in the next generation of societally-responsible products.

Matthew and his wife, Kristin, have five children and live in Denver, Colorado.

Jesse Weaver

As an experienced product leader and designer, Jesse spent seven years as the Director of Product and UX for, guiding the company's product ecosystem as it scaled across thirteen platforms. Jesse currently directs the Entrepreneurial Design Studio at the University of Colorado Boulder and is a product consultant for companies of all sizes.

Bonnie Kate Wolf

Bonnie Kate is an illustrator and icon designer working in brand and product design, based in San Francisco. She currently works at Netflix as a product designer on their design systems team.