As I was researching articles in preparation for this class post, I came across a very surprising UX trend that topped a 2020 list: Designing for the post-truth era. That was not the type of trend I was expecting to find. My expectations were to discover trends about improved customer journeys, eliminating steps to checkouts in a new, flashy effective ways. Instead “designing for transparency & encouraging critical thinking” came out on top. How fitting that this trend be deemed the UX trend of 2020 before any of the many worldwide crises had occurred.
The misinformation surrounding the COVID pandemic has gotten to such a critical level that doctors and nurses have testified saying they felt like they were “fighting two viruses — COVID-19 and misinformation.” Nancy Pelosi solidified the serious of these life-threatening health scams, by announcing bipartisan support to crack down on social platforms exploiting the health & trust of their users. How could UX design possibly have a role to play in solving this misinformation pandemic?
By defeating misinformation with transparency.
Social media platforms like YouTube are introducing disclaimers next to videos that let users know which entity is behind the content they are choosing to view. Facebook has opted to show alerts on videos & posts that have not yet been fact checked. News agencies are asking reporters to write in a different style and format to promote critical thinking with their readers. And Adobe has now come full circle in their product life cycle as they are now creating content to help users distinguish photoshopped images from real ones.
As the pandemic continues to ravage the south, slowly creeping its way up north again, we’ve seen the continued problem of misinformation publicizing which drugs are effective or ineffective, and the usages of masks and so on. The time for effective design promoting transparency and critical thinking has never been more real.