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How 'seamless interaction' leads to exploitative design

Sophie Taylor

04 Feb, 5:20 pm

05 Feb, 1:20 am

05 Feb, 9:20 am

15 min

Designers strive for "seamless interaction"; an impossibly efficient user journey where the user achieves their goal without noticing the technology that brought them there. But how might UX Designers be leaving users blinded to the technology they’re engaging with? And what kind of exploitation does that leave them vulnerable to?


“As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of this diminishes.” – James Bridle

The world is increasingly waking up to the types of exploitation that users of digital technology are vulnerable to. From 'The Social Dilemma' to the DOJ antitrust lawsuit against Google, stories of Big Tech and social justice are consistently hitting the headlines. We see criticisms of tech CEOs, developers, and investors - but where is the focus on the impact of interaction design? What role does the discipline have to play in these dynamics?

This talk will explore how trends such as 'seamless interaction' have facilitated the use of interaction design in masking exploitative dynamics. It will walk through some examples of this in action, before ending on some considerations of what designers can do to avoid replicating these same dynamics.

Meet the speaker

Sophie Taylor


Sophie is a Senior Digital Ethics and Innovation Consultant at Sopra Steria. She co-founded the company's Digital Ethics practice and has been leading on the intersection between Digital Ethics and User Research.

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