Inclusive Design Lab Illustration Process

Kelly Dern
3 min readNov 15, 2022

Illustrations and visual design for the web app and card game

Inclusive Design Works game

Originally conceived as a deck of playing cards, Inclusive Design Works is an empathy-building tool for designers and creators.


  • Launched inclusive card game
  • Defined illustration style for card game and inclusive web app. Defined and launched visual style for the web app.
  • Featured at Google I/O, Grace Hopper, SF Design Week
  • Received Google Product Excellence Award


This project was originally physical cards that have been featured at Google I/O, Grace Hopper, and SF Design Week with much success.

This year, we wanted to scale these magical moments with a web app that everyone can use.


Shannon May — Brand, Art
Ryan Kiley — Visual design
Kelly Dern — Illustrations
Archana Sankaranarayanan- UXE
Leecy Li — Product Manager, Illustrations
Catherine Idylle — Design Lead
Sunja Culley — Motion Design

Narrative thread explorations

Exploration in shapes and motions

Due to the sensitive nature of representing permanent and situational impairments, the shapes were abstracted

Brand themes:


Using these brand themes as guideposts, we defined some narrative threads themes:

  • Common, recognizable objects
  • Abstract shapes
Process sketches
Process sketches

Shape and texture

I explored how we can use texture and gesture to further abstract the shapes. The subjects were sensitive and abstract, so I attempted to further remove from characters.

Non-verbal process sketches

Subtle motion design

Motion design — Low vision and hard of hearing
Motion design — blind/can’t see the screen and diabetic retinopathy

Color testing and placement in the UI

To test the palette and feel of the illustrations and motion design, we placed in the web app UI to visualize.

Placed in the web app UI

Google I/O card game launch



Kelly Dern

Senior Video UX Designer @Google / Advisor / Public Speaker, interested in chronic health tech, occasional illustrator