Threads

Inclusive design

By July 8, 2020No Comments

1/ Can design be inclusive and create a sense of belonging for everyone? Yes and how?
Here’s a #thread

2/ Inclusive design considers human diversity & uniqueness of each individual with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution. 

3/ I believe inclusive design is a mindset. It involves creating digital products that enable a wide range of diverse people to access those products. This includes designing for people with & without impairments.

4/ Empathy is a key ingredient of inclusive design. Here’s a simple analogy to explain inclusivity: “Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusivity is being asked to dance.”

5/ Often, designers imagine people with impairments as those in wheelchairs or some physical disability. But, impairments also include vision, cognitive challenges too. 

6/ Hence, in order to be inclusive, a designer also needs to understand which communities or groups are excluded and how to incorporate their perspectives too. 

7/ Adaptive design foster’s growth of self-knowledge and recognizes the importance of commitment to diversity. Example: Take Microsoft’s Inclusive Design Toolkit. The most interesting take away the idea of solving for one but extending to many.

8/ Why should design be inclusive you ask? See…A product might be designed for a person who only has one hand (a permanent disability), for instance.

9/The obvious extension of that would be that the same design could be helpful to anyone who has a temporary hand injury or a new parent who often has their newborn in one arm and only uses one hand for most interactions could also benefit.

10/ When it comes to inclusive design, there is often a misconception that it compromises the look & feel of it, making it ugly. Well, that’s not true. In reality, the true costs of bad design emerge later on in the product life cycle & have the potential to cause irreparable damage to the brand image through customer frustration.

11/ While inclusive design brings in a lot of processes, it makes a product more accessible. It is good for business, customers & creates a win-win situation by expanding your product’s reach, sparks innovation, and helps your company take on a position of social responsibility.

12/ Therefore, inclusive design not only adds value but also empowers users. A simple, clean design which not only adds value to the brand but also proves that “simplicity is powerful.”

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