5th October, 2023
In the past couple of weeks, I think I’m getting towards something I can write about authentically that will further my academic and professional career: product management of digital products for children. The (very informal) summary and justification goes something like:
- The digital products children use for learning and play are not good enough: they are usually made with a profit motive and use behaviourist tactics to manipulate children. The Children’s Code requires services and products to be designed in the ‘best interests’ of children and young people, but not enough companies adhere to these principles.
- Product management is a burgeoning discipline, with product managers at the nexus of business, design and technology decisions in organisations. Product managers, if supported with frameworks for ethical and legal decision-making, could form a powerful group of technology workers who could advocate for the rights and needs of children and the environments they live in.
In terms of research I think the literature review would include scholars who write about:
- The intentionalist perspective on technology
- Manipulative vs. convivial tools
- ‘Productification’ and product management
- Designing services and products for children
My research would likely be qualitative and could involve:
- Interviewing product managers who make products for children to find out their thoughts, experiences and challenges
- Creating and testing a framework that could help product managers make products that serve the best interests of children