How does design impact on behaviour, collaboration, and environment? What is its impact on people and community?

Earlier this week, Mogul’s Managing Director George Miller was invited to speak at ‘HMMM – How might design thinking make life better?’ at Hastings City Arts Gallery.

design thinking

Alongside George was a very talented, local designer panel including Bill Roberts (Furnware), Al Mackie (BAND) Scott Fitzsimons (Furnware), Jacob Scott (Scott Design), Marion Courtille (David Trubridge) and Vanya Freijser (PMA) discussing the impact social design has in their world.

If you couldn’t make it to the event, here is some of what George had to say:

“Digital companies – marketing, software, media – with the type and volume of data that is available, have a huge responsibility to do the right thing – to be socially responsible. However Facebook continue to push the boundaries of what is socially acceptable in their current war with Ad Blockers. (Ad Blockers are installed to block advertising – on news sites, in social media, on websites.)

Facebook is so dependent on advertising now that they developed CSS/HTML markers that meant the Ad Blocker software can’t recognise the ads as ads – they just saw them as normal content. So the Ad Blocker open source community immediately responded, by creating a workaround that now re-blocks the ads.

It’s safe to assume that Facebook will find another way to serve up ads – but should they? As a consumer, if I want to use an Ad Blocker so I don’t see ads, why does Facebook think it’s OK to do so? Is that socially responsible? I could stop using Facebook, but why should I have to? Isn’t it my choice, my right, to see ads or not?

Facebook is not alone; surveys have shown that the majority of people searching on Google don’t know whether they are clicking on paid content or organic search content. News and media sites are presenting sponsored content as ‘news’ in a way that’s making it increasingly difficult to distinguish between the news and the ads.

One of the most topical philosophical (or social) questions in digital at the moment is: how do you give the right balance of rights – to the consumer, to the advertiser, and to the software company?”

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, head over to the Mogul Facebook page to share your comments.