How Product Managers can design ethical products ?
It’s the PM responsibility to ensure that the Product team & the organization work towards building ethical products. If the product or feature you are trying to build has the capacity to harm users then you need to step back & rethink the whole idea.
As a PM, you need to analyse how the different types of users — internal , external & prohibited users might get negatively impacted through your product or feature. If a set of users can’t even use your product due to in-convenience then it’s not recommended.
Microsoft’s Harms Framework can be a useful tool to access the possible harm that can be generated by your product & you can work towards mitigating those harms proactively even during your product discovery phase.
You can use the below mentioned harm description statements to describe the nature of the harm :-
- Intended use : If <feature> was used for a <use case> , <stakeholder> could experience <harm description>
- Unintended use : If <user> tried to use the <feature > for a <use case> <stakeholder> could experience <harm description>
- System error : If <feature> failed to function properly when user for a <use case> , <stakeholder> could experience <harm description>
- Misuse : <Malicious actor > could potentially use <feature>, to cause <harm description> to the <stakeholder>.
Here is an example of one of my favourite ethical product which aims to reduce screen time of the users & remove clutter .
Indistractable Launcher — The Minimalist Launcher
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