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Design for the Worst

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 19, 2019

In Why Every CEO Needs to Think Like a Hacker, Stalker, or White Nationalist, Rob Walker argues that products should be designed with their worst potential users in mind.

“Red teaming” (creating a group with an explicitly adversarial role, to challenge an organization’s strategy or structures) happens in military and intelligence contexts, and even in tech design, when the underlying issue is security or fending off hackers. Maybe big digital-centric companies, and small ones that aspire to scale, need a variation that’s not about fending off direct adversaries. Imagine instead a sort of Black Mirror Department, devoted to nothing but figuring out how the product can be abused — and thus how to minimize malign misuse.