Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Artful Outside

It is rather unusual to be directly involved in a design where the interests of your customers are opposed to those of the larger public, primarily because they are a subset of that public. Some system designs however get targeted to a small and distinct enough set of customers that conflicts can arise; the subset may have interests that are notably at odds with regulations.

Who do you design for? How do you balance staying employed with doing the right thing? In this case the owners of your company prefer that you bend toward customer ends, yet provide enough plausible deniability to keep them out of hot water. I like to distance myself further; take a step back from your knowledge and provide a method that feigns ignorance. Essentially you allow the customers to bend the regulations without encouraging it. You allow the customers the freedom to determine their own karma.

The takeback, the saving grace to your own soul from adopting this approach however, is that you must use your private non-work time promoting awareness and supporting the very regulations you fear your customers may violate.