Practical design guide to gender inclusion. Part 3: Final realizations
Content written by @manviaggarwal_
Design processes are known to be not linear. They are iterative in the stages where the designers need to re-evaluate what they have or haven’t created to understand the problem better. The path to inclusion is not a straight road either, for any scenario or dimension of diversity. The human race is complex and designing for its diversity is not an hour’s work. It requires complete awareness and acknowledgement of unconscious biases one might be bringing to the discussion; it also requires the people involved in the design process to actively overcome these biases to progress towards creating an inclusive solution.
A change in value and more consciousness towards biases for those involved in the design process, core company members, designers and other stakeholders can be brought about by focusing on a shift in their mindsets. The working group’s value change essentially starts with the leaders taking charge and progresses with inclusive work practices, followed by conscious design and production stages of tangibles and intangibles, finally reaching the digital experience part.
In gender’s context, there has been a significant evolution in gender studies and an active sensitisation and realisations about the fluidity of gender identity and expression amongst a wide range of the young population. The inclusive design processes that work towards inclusion through adding layers of misrepresented communities on top of the base user segment are more effective.
It is crucial to represent the misrepresented and have platforms that become their voice. Interestingly, this research also saw the population in two groups, cis and non-cis, which again is a binary classification. This unintentional bifurcation demands us to understand the need for the normalisation of the gender spectrum. The inclusive design process needs to guide the stakeholders towards greater responsibility, breaking the binary barriers.
Real inclusion of the gender spectrum will happen when associating with any gender identity or expression stops playing a modifier’s role in a user’s journey of e-commerce or any other product/service. Gender neutrality can be a breakthrough that is required to tackle gender exclusion in its totality. The stakeholders need to look at inclusivity with a long shot goal at mitigating these divides in the first place.