A11Y: Inclusive Design
We humans exist in a variety of states and abilities; I'm a big proponent of inclusive, people-centered design and solutions, not just with the digital products and user experiences I have the opportunity to work on and create, but in my daily life.
Takeaway: Technology is inherently political; let's leverage it in ways to help create a better world for everyone with empathy and forward-thinking change at the foundation.
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.
The good news is that there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit. A good starting point is to explore any points of exclusion 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.
Another quick pickin' is self-reflection and ego-check; specifically, 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.
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
To learn more about building accessible-friendly websites and digital products, check out the A11Y project.