Designing for equity and inclusion.

Jacquelyn Iyamah
Black UX Collective
3 min readDec 12, 2020


Summary from my presentation at Harvard's Design Impact Conference.

This fall, I had the honor of being invited to present at Harvard’s Design Impact Conference to speak about designing for equity and inclusion. This was an opportunity that was deeply in alignment with my values.

I have a degree in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a degree in User Experience Design from the University of Baltimore. I use both to design spaces that are inclusive and equitable for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). I am also the founder of Making the Body a Home, a platform that creates wellness courses for folx to unpack unconscious racism.

Before we leave 2020 and enter the new year, I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the gems that I shared with the attendees of the conference.

The White Default

I find that one of the biggest obstacles to designing products, experiences, and services that are inclusive of Black, Indigenous, and people of color, is something called the White Default. The White Default speaks to the ways in which whiteness is viewed as the norm in society.

The Implications of the White Default

I often think about how colonial conditioning diminishes our capacity as designers to design products, experiences, and services that are inclusive for BIPOC. When we assume the White Default, we design services, experiences, and products that exclude and oppress BIPOC. Here are just a couple of examples of this:

Challenging the White Default

I believe we have an opportunity to disrupt this pattern through something I call Space-making. Space-making sits at the intersection of design thinking and decolonial thinking.