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A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology by Vincent F. Hendricks, Stig Andur Pedersen, Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis

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Chapter 86

Value-sensitive Design

JEROEN VAN DER HOVEN AND NOEMI MANDERS-HUITS

Value-sensitive design (VSD) is an approach to systems development and software engineering which was first introduced in the last decade of the twentieth century as an approach for incorporating human values into the design of (information) technology. VSD was developed by Batya Friedman and others, building on insights of the human–computer interaction community (HCI) to draw attention to the social and moral dimensions of design. Other initiatives had also been studying the social implications of computer technology, such as computer ethics, computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) and participatory design (PD). Some of these research communities, like value-sensitive design, have also tried to incorporate values into the design of technological systems at an early stage; however, whereas these approaches tend to focus on functional and instrumental values (e.g. user-friendliness), value-sensitive design focuses primarily on addressing values of moral import, such as privacy, trust and autonomy. Although building a user-friendly technology might also increase a user’s sense of autonomy or trust, in value-sensitive design the attention for moral values is the primary goal. According to Friedman:

Value-Sensitive Design is primarily concerned with values that center on human well-being, human dignity, justice, welfare, and human rights. Value-Sensitive Design connects the people who design systems ...

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