What is the code of ethics in design?

code of ethics in design

Ethical design is the design that is crafted by following the ethical rules of the field. There is a set of standards formulated for design, and understanding these standards is good and helpful for designers to make moral and responsible choices. In website development especially, ethical considerations are important to ensure the user experience is positive, respectful, and inclusive. It is a must to broadly accept professional ethics to practice design professionally.

Design ethics serve as a guide for designers throughout the process of designing and to interacting and working with colleagues, stakeholders, clients, and users considering their needs as well. It helps in identifying what features can be included or not included in products and services. People could analyze the ethical value of the designed products through design ethics.

There are many situations when ethics are being ignored. It can be when there is a lack of knowledge or giving more priority to competing with others. In any case, ethics is still important in web design. People now know the impact of good and bad designs on the professions, society, etc. Thus design ethics have to be followed.

Designs and Ethics

Users are the most important factor considered while making a design decision. Rather than just doing the technical part for the clients, the designers should further consider why it is done and what impact it brings to the users who interact with the design. So there should be a proper ethical design strategy to be implemented with a user-centric approach.

An ethical framework considers the decisions and the results from it along with the tools offered to make valuable decisions on the work and actions.

Why should designers and clients care about code of ethics?

We all should know that all businesses have laws for the work done online. The legal standards in the web industry have increased with many court cases occurring. But based on the professional standards it is found that there are legally appearing practices that are not ethical. So promoting the web design industry as honest, trustworthy, accountable, and complying with the law improves the reputation of professionals in the whole industry.

Clients have many expectations of the web designers they are hiring. Clients should trust and entrust the project with a belief in having honest communication, treating fairly, reasonably charging, and timely delivery of projects meeting all the requirements and professional standards. Below mentions some necessary ethics to be followed in web design & development industry:

  • Interacting with clients honestly without involving in activities such as misleading comments, overcharging etc.
  • Client identity and other business secrets should be kept confidential.
  • Not to involve inTheft, Spyware, and Unsolicited Advertising.

Fees to be charged

Fees charges for the work done is one thing that classifies a professional design from others. A code of ethics mentions the fair amount of fees that can be charged on the clients, the proper way of maintaining and honoring a contract and provisions for estimates.

Basic Rules of Conduct

Ethical codes show the basic principles of professional conduct of keeping a clear knowledge of laws applicable and obeying them. Things to be considered that matter the ethics include the ability to accept gifts from the clients, and rejecting unlawful, fraudulent, or misleading works.

Professional Standards

Professional organizations are having a code of ethics which is preferred as a good place to begin as a web designer. Being a member of these organizations helps you in working as a professional following the code of ethics. Codes in various design groups might be different, but the principles covered are almost the same.

Some reputable design groups codes are:

  • AIGA, the professional association for design
  • The Academy of Design Professionals
  • AGDA, Australian Graphic Design Association
  • Society of Graphic Designers of Canada
  • Graphic Artists Guild