A11Y: Inclusive Design
Designing for inclusion isn't just good for people with special needs and abilities, it's good for everyone; it's about creating a better world for everyone.
It's Good for Everyone
Designing for inclusion isn't just good for people with special needs and abilities, it's good for everyone; it's about creating a better world for everyone. Inclusive design expands your product’s reach, can be a great catalist for innovation, and helps your team take on a position of social responsibility.
Where to Start
Empathy is an essential quality that every leader in every organization should possess at all levels of an organization.
The good news is that there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit. A good starting point is to explore any points of exclusion in your products and workplace, and use the findings to generate new ideas and highlight opportunities to create new solutions. Understanding exactly how and why people are excluded can help establish concrete steps towards being more inclusive.
Simply put: involve others in your design process. This doesn't mean just your "besties." Involve people from different communities; they are the best folks to communicate their needs, and they can help us look beyond our own abilities and biases when creating products.
As you identify what areas of exclusion need addressing, in both your products and workplace, leverage the value of continuous improvement; effectively, think about what you're doing and how you're doing it on a regular basis. For instance, seek and implement a standing, tight feedback loop between your staff, users and yourself so experiences can be shared and responded to for continuously improving things.
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another—is a key determinant of emotional intelligence (EQ). Those who are more empathetic tend to also be more emotionally intelligent. Empathy is an essential quality that every leader in every organization should possess at all levels of an organization from product managers, editors, designers, engineers to the CEO. If empathy is lacking, the aforementioned recommendations will only get you so far and it'll become clear fast that your efforts are not genuine and will not really address points of exclusion holistically.
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Related good reads, resources and people
- Inclusion is designing the future - Kat Holmes
- Hello, My Name is Error - Aimee Gonzalez-Cameron
- Semantics to Screen Readers - Melanie Richards
- Reframing Accessibility for the Web - Anne Gibson