Value Sensitive Design and Information Systems

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Article: Value Sensitive Design and Information Systems. By BATYA FRIEDMAN, PETER H. KAHN, JR., AND ALAN BORNING. University of Washington

Forthcoming in P. Zhang & D. Galletta (Eds.), Human-Computer Interaction in Management Information Systems: Foundations. M.E. Sharpe, Inc: NY.



"Value Sensitive Design is a theoretically grounded approach to the design of technology that accounts for human values in a principled and comprehensive manner throughout the design process. It employs an integrative and iterative tripartite methodology, consisting of conceptual, empirical, and technical investigations. We explicate Value Sensitive Design by drawing on three case studies. The first study concerns information and control of web browser cookies, implicating the value of informed consent. The second study concerns using high-definition plasma displays in an office environment to provide a window to the outside world, implicating the values of physical and psychological well-being and privacy in public spaces. The third study concerns an integrated land use, transportation, and environmental simulation system to support public deliberation and debate on major land use and transportation decisions, implicating the values of fairness, accountability, and support for the democratic process, as well as a highly diverse range of values that might be held by different stakeholders, such as environmental sustainability, opportunities for business expansion, or walkable neighborhoods. We conclude with direct and practical suggestions for how to engage in Value Sensitive Design.

There is a longstanding interest in designing information and computational systems that support enduring human values. Researchers have focused, for example, on the value of privacy [Ackerman and Cranor 1999; Agre and Rotenberg 1998; Fuchs 1999; Jancke et al. 2001; Palen and Grudin 2003; Tang 1997], ownership and property [Lipinski and Britz 2000], physical welfare [Leveson 1991], freedom from bias [Friedman and Nissenbaum 1996], universal usability [Shneiderman 1999, 2000; Thomas 1997], autonomy [Suchman 1994; Winograd 1994], informed consent [Millett et al. 2001], and trust [Fogg and Tseng 1999; Palen and Grudin 2003; Riegelsberger and Sasse 2002; Rocco 1998; Zheng et al. 2001]."