The rise of inclusive design
Cliff Kuang wrote an excellent article on Microsoft’s push for more inclusive design. From Microsoft’s Radical Bet On A New Type Of Design Thinking:
Dubbed inclusive design, it begins with studying overlooked communities, ranging from dyslexics to the deaf. By learning about how they adapt to their world, the hope is that you can actually build better new products for everyone else.
What’s more, by finding more analogues between tribes of people outside the mainstream and situations that we’ve all found ourselves in, you can come up with all kinds of new products. The big idea is that in order to build machines that adapt to humans better, there needs to be a more robust process for watching how humans adapt to each other, and to their world. “The point isn’t to solve for a problem,” such as typing when you’re blind, said Holmes. “We’re flipping it.” They are finding the expertise and ingenuity that arises naturally, when people are forced to live a life differently from most.
This is similar to the points I tried to make in Beyoncé, Coldplay, and the myth of the “average” user. The advantages of having more diversity in our design and development processes go far beyond the moral rightness of it. We end up with better products that serve a much wider cross-section of a population.
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