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Design Responsibly

We all want to be responsible as UX professionals. But what does that even mean? Who are we responsible towards? And how can we get better at it? To answer these questions, we decided to make “Design Responsibly” the theme of PUSH UX 2021.

The world used to be simple

Or at least it used to feel that way. As designers, we might not have had a seat at the table, but we did have a life of blissful simplicity where design was often only concerned with making products usable (or in worse cases: just making them pretty).

Of course, today things are more complicated. The questions UX has to answer goes way beyond usability and range from how and for whom we create value, what side effects our creations have all the way to how we work together in organizations. This is a good development. But with more power comes more responsibility.

Our Many Responsibilities

It’s time to talk about this complex web of responsibilities that we have to navigate every day.

Let’s start with what we are taught in UX courses. We have a responsibility towards the people who use our products to make them useful and delightful, and we have a responsibility to our employers or clients to make them economically viable. The tension between these two responsibilities alone is enough to fill a conference program, but it is only a part of the story.

In a world where the things we design shape the lives of millions, sometimes even billions, we also have a responsibility towards society at large. Our creations often have unintended second order effects and while it’s impossible to plan for all of them, we can’t pretend that they aren’t happening and that we aren’t accountable for them. And these second order effects don’t just impact people, they impact the ecology of our planet.

At the same time as we look outward into the world, we need to look inward towards the people we work with in our teams. The impact we have on our colleagues is much deeper than on our users and how we work together shapes the products we create. And finally, we must not forget ourselves — our own physical health, our mental well-being and our economic and social success.

PUSH UX 2021: Design Responsibly

At this year’s PUSH UX, we want to shine a light into all the corners of this maze of responsibilities. We will explore how they influence each other and help you find practical ways to navigate these responsibilities as a UX professional — both in theory and in practice.

To give you a little taste, here are just a few of the 18 talks and 14 interactive sessions you can look forward to.

Meet the speakers

Indi Young and Daniel Burka will engage us in a conversation about Design and Power and attempt to answer the question why so many designers have expensive BMWs, but feel like they have little influence.

Ana Oarga and Raz Burciu share how to align stakeholders from across this spectrum and rally behind a coherent product strategy using the North Star Metric framework.

Nata Kostenko from Scania has struggled (like many) with translating the theory of ethical design frameworks into practice. In her talk Daily Ethical Design, she will share how she still made tangible progress by making small adjustments to her design process.

It’s not just our products that we’re designing, but also our way of working. Adam B. Cochrane from Zalando will explore Ritual Design and how it helps us to deliberately shape the way we are working.

Clive K. Lavery has experienced first-hand how designers can be sucked into a rabbit-hole of depression. In his talk The 7 Habits Of Highly Depressive Designers, he shares his cautionary tale and what you can do to avoid it.

See the full program

See you on October 21/22!

The work of User Experience has never been more complex and multifaceted. Therefore it is more important than ever to come together as a discipline to learn from each other. We hope to see you at PUSH UX in October to become more responsible designers, researchers and creators together.

Join us now and get your ticket for PUSH UX

See you at PUSH UX 2021!

Christian Perstl


Philipp Sackl-O’Neill


Henning Schulze


Simon Harhues