Product Impact Tool

Technology is an important part of our everyday lives en influences how we live from day to day. The impact of technology manifests itself in many different ways, from individual to societal and from open to closed. Steven Dorrestijn has gathered all these different ways of product impact into one model: the Product Impact Tool. This tool will make you reflect on the relationship between human and technology and will give you pointers on how to deal with it as a developer of new technologies.

Steven Dorrestijn is lector Ethics & Technology at the Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. He developed the Product Impact Tool from the perspective of philosophy of technology and has since collaborated with designers, developers and researchers to develop the tool further to be used in workshops and design processes.

What you should know before reading further:

  • For whom: researchers, developers and designers of technology
  • Process phase: research & analysis, idea generation and evaluation
  • System components: all layers of the application
  • Price indication: freely available


The Product Impact Tool is an interactive webtool. The tool gives an overview of the different kinds of product impact using explanations and examples. In addition, it offers worksheets and a set of cards. The tool is the starting point for ethical reflection and (re)design of products with the goal of usability, acceptation and behavior change.

The interactive webtool helps you and your team to understand the different ways of product impact. The worksheets and card set, containing different questions and assignments, offer a way to analyse and improve the product impact of your (idea fora n) application in a workshop or brainstorm session. In the yellow quadrant ‘to-the-hand’, for example, you can ask yourself in how far your application tries to influence the users to do something they didn’t plan to do in the first place. The question stimulates a discussion on the desirability of that product impact and if you’d like to apply this in your product. Then, the tool also helps you to generate ideas, inspired by the many examples, on how to prevent or strengthen this product impact.

The Product Impact Tool is not trying to tell you what is good or wrong, but tries to inform you about the different ways of (hidden) impact of technology on the human being. In that way, the tool tries to stimulate reflection and discussion among developers during the design process of new application.

Product Impact Tool
The central model of the Product Impact Tool


The Product Impact Tool gives a neutral and complete overview of the different kinds of product impact on people. The result: you look to all products and your own designs with a fresh perspective. The workshop helps you to actively use your newly gained perspective to develop applications and products that are easier to use and more accepted.

Ethical values of the tool Related ALTAI principles
  • Reflection
  • Environmental & Societal well-being
  • Human agency & Oversight
  • Transparency


More info on use of the tool:

Product Impact Tool (in NL en EN)


For explanations and use of the tool:

This tool was not developed by the Knowledge Center Data & Society. We describe the tool on our website because it can help you deal with ethical, legal or social aspects of AI applications. The Knowledge Center is not responsible for the quality of the tool.