Kat Zhou

Product designer, Spotify, and Creator of <Design Ethically>

Kat Zhou

Product designer, Spotify, and Creator of <Design Ethically>

Design Ethically: From Imperative to Action

We’ve heard it again and again: the tech industry desperately needs an ethical reinvention. More than ever, we are realizing that our products have vast effects on society and that taking time to consider the ethical consequences behind decisions is crucial. In this talk, Kat Zhou, creator of the "Design Ethically" project, will go over a redesigned design process that introduces applied ethics, forecasting, and speculation to the product development lifecycle. She will also dive into how she introduced "Design Ethically" methodology on an enterprise level at her previous company, IBM. Finally, this presentation will go over proposed recommendations for tech workers, companies, and policymakers to steer the industry in the right direction.

About

Kat Zhou is a product designer at Spotify and the creator of the <Design Ethically> project. Design Ethically started out as a framework for applying ethics to the design process and has now grown into a toolkit of speculative activities that help teams forecast the consequences of their products. Through her work with the <Design Ethically> project, Kat has had the fortune of speaking all over the world, hosting a workshop at SXSW, guest lecturing at the Harvard Kennedy School, and speaking at her alma mater, Duke University. Before moving to Stockholm to work at Spotify, Kat was at IBM in both Washington, D.C. and Austin, designing in the public service division before pivoting to cybersecurity. While she was at IBM, she partnered with the AI Design team to pilot <DE> with Watson teams; <DE> methodology is also incorporated in IBM’s Team Essentials for AI Design course. Today, she has the pleasure of serving on the board of advisors for the YX Foundation, a hybrid coalition-design lab focused on the intersections of AI/ML and critical race theory.