Designing for Each Other & The Planet

Every application we build, every website we launch creates a footprint in the world. It has an impact. We have an opportunity to impact the society and how it moves forward with technology. We have an opportunity to shape the culture by which people interact through technology. Cultures will happen by default if we are not intentional and we know what happens by default. It’s time to get really intentional about what we are creating and look for how we can develop our applications in a way that lift humanity up.

I love being an app and platform designer because I am able to create and find solutions for people’s problems or to make their lives easier in some way.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how as designers, we have the opportunity to do even more.  I’ve been looking at how we can create products that not only generate harmony amongst each other (humanity could use plenty of that right now), but also with the planet. I want to design software that’s not only sustainable in its utility, but in its impact on the environment and humanity as well.

The way people communicate today has evolved thanks to technology. As designers, we have the opportunity, and in most ways the obligation, to take a stand for how humanity interacts with each other. After all, it is us who shape how technology can be used by people. The way we design our applications greatly determine how users will consume them.

There is no doubt that technology can be used against humanity. Take the case of Facebook. Originally intended to be a social network that aimed at connecting people regardless of location, it is now being used to cause division through posts that breed negativity and perpetuate false information. The platform that was supposed to bring us together is ripping us apart, and it is this way because we allowed it to happen.

Even with the noblest visions and purpose, if we do not become more intentional at how we design our applications, the human mind can be steered to use them in a way that goes against how we want our applications to be used. As designers and developers, we can take a stand for how we build products,ensuring that they foster positive and meaningful interactions. Our desire should be to create deep connections with others across the world.

Technology has enabled us to connect with people in ways we have never imagined. But as we’ve seen through the years of its evolution, use, and misuse, there can also be a dark side. But it is us who shape and design technology. We can certainly affect how our applications will be used by society and steer it towards a more sustainable future for how we interact with each other and the planet.

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