There's a need for actionable design methods for more responsible tech design. So we’re pulling together a library of them here.

Welcome to Responsible Tech Design, a site dedicated to practical answers to the "how" question of responsible technology. Created by a team of researchers in responsible design and development, we use this space as a way to keep track of and spread the word on responsible design methods as they emerge from various fields.

The philosophy

We believe combining wellbeing-supportive design (it's a thing!) with methods for ethical analysis is a powerful way forward toward achieving more responsible and humane technology:

The process

We've proposed an upgrade to the traditional design process that integrates ethics and wellbeing.
We started with what designers already do (ie. the "double diamond" process), and integrated practices for ethical and wellbeing-supportive design to arrive at a future-ready process for beneficial technology.  You can read the full explanation on Medium.

 The Methods & Tools

On this site, we collect methods, tools and case studies to help tech makers incorporate wellbeing and ethics into their practice. We've tagged these according to the process phases above to help identify how/when to use them.
Here is a summary of each phase:


The "discovery" or user research phase involves researching the needs, preferences, contexts and lives of the people who will be served or otherwise impacted by your technology.  Standard qualitative approaches (e.g. design thinking methods, ethnographies, participatory workshops, etc.) will often surface many wellbeing and ethical issues.  However, tailored methods for stakeholder involvement may help focus participants on ethical or psychological issues.


Wellbeing data analysis involves the analysis of user research data through the lens of wellbeing theory, and with a view to identifying harms to wellbeing and opportunities for supporting a healthy psychological experience.  Ethics data analysis involves the analysis of user research data through the lens of an ethical framework, and/or with a view to identifying potential biases, ethical risks and tensions.


Wellbeing framing involves introducing wellbeing psychology concepts into the ideation phase in order to help the team focus ideation on the root psychological causes of user needs and to brainstorm solutions that are tailored to support digital wellbeing. Ethical framing involves introducing ethics concepts into the ideation phase in order to sensitise the team to ethical tensions that may arise in the context and brainstorming resolutions to these.


Wellbeing impact analysis involves collaborative speculation on the wellbeing impacts (good and bad) to which a particular design concept may lead.  This should involve a wide range of stakeholders, including, of course, end-users.   Ethical impact analysis involves collaborative speculation on the ethical impacts to which a particular design concept may lead.


The real life ethical impacts that a technology will have on people, their communities and the planet, can only be understood once the product or service is in real-world use. We can speculate and test in advance, but unintended use patterns and effects are realities in our complex socio-technical systems.  Wellbeing Impact Evaluation involves evaluating the impact of technology use on a user’s psychological experience during and after use.   Ethical Impact Evaluation involves evaluating the ethical impacts of a technology’s use, not just on its users, but often, on those indirectly affected, such as their friends and families, communities, society as a whole, and the planet.

It's a springboard not a finish line

Naturally, being guided by this process is neither a guarantee of a beneficial outcome, nor is it enough. A process doesn't run by itself. It's the individuals, teams, values, power structures and business models that will also impact the decision-making along the way.

 Since this is merely a design process, it will need to sit within enterprise-level responsible processes, which themselves will need to function within regulatory and societal frameworks. It’s a modest slice of a much larger pie, and it’s the first draft of that pie, so we eagerly welcome feedback.

Contact Us

We're eager to hear other experiences with methods and case studies (including what went well and what didn't) and welcome any suggestions for additions to the library.

We are an Engineer and Designer working to advance both ethical practice and design for wellbeing in technology. Our vision is of a future in which all digital experience contributes to the flourishing of individuals, communities and our world. Learn more about our research and practice at positivecomputing.org or connect on Twitter.

Rafael Calvo
Professor of Design Engineering
Imperial College London

Dorian Peters
Interaction Designer and Design Researcher
Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence
University of Cambridge