UX in 2018: the human element

Contributed the following to UX Booth:

Looking out for each other and ourselves

As we emerge from the Year of the Reckoning, the year when #metoo came to prominence, it’s important that we look out for each other and ourselves by demanding the conferences we attend have strong and enforced Codes of Conduct, and that our workplaces actively enforce their anti-harassment policies — and not just when a report occurs.

Inclusivity matters. Making any one person feel anything less than entirely welcome and accepted means your culture excludes. Microaggressions alone drive people away from working in technology. Policies and Codes of Conduct must be not only codified but part of the experience, part of the culture.

Make sure that not only women but everyone involved in your event or place of business are safe and included appropriately. This is not just the responsibility of those running the show — every attendee and every employee counts. One great method I’ve seen is simply saying “we don’t do that here,” which is most effective in arenas that have a policy in place.

Personally, since Christina Wodtke’s article Tweaking the Moral UI in 2014, I’ve made a commitment not to speak or attend conferences that don’t have or enforce a Code of Conduct, which is a solid personal commitment to make if you haven’t already.

In 2018, look for ways to be more inclusive and make your communities safer for everyone in every way possible, from interface to company culture.