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anthropomorphism and design

Rule #8: Use Human Ethics

Part 8 of the 11 part series Anthropomorphism and Design

Anthropomorphic products blur the boundaries between products and people. Ethical norms for people don’t usually apply to products and vice versa. For example, there’s no need to apologize if you accidentally run into an object. But with an anthropomorphic product, you might instinctively say sorry, because it seems like the right thing to do. People can apply their attitude towards humans to products, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But transferring attitudes from a product to a human might lead to problems, especially when the product induces abnormal social behavior. Don’t make your product do what you wouldn’t want a person to do.

Image via Lazy Bone.

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