Inclusive Design Principles to Follow
By following inclusive design principles, we can come close to designing an experience that can be used by a diverse group of people. These principles are:
1. Identify ability-based exclusion: Look for entry points for exclusion throughout the whole user experience.
2. Identify situational challenges: Some disabilities or lack of accessibility might happen on a situational and temporary basis rather than permanently. Think about unique situations such as noisy environments, poor internet connection, strong natural light, an eye operation, etc.
3. Avoid personal biases: Consult other team members and people from other communities, backgrounds, and age groups during the research and design phases to avoid any personal biases going into the final design.
4. Offer different ways to engage: By providing the user with different options, they can choose the one that suits them best. For example, offer not only video subtitles, but also full transcripts.
5. Provide equivalent experiences to all users: We must ensure that all users are being offered the same experience even though we are using different tools (such as subtitles options or playback speeds).
Examples of Successful Inclusive Services
There is still much to do in regard to inclusive design but some companies are setting the bar high:
Barclays Bank is working towards becoming the most accessible and inclusive FTSE organization (this vision applies to both employees and customers). One first step for them was to define what true accessibility means in an open discussion.
Happy Scribe is a company that offers automatic transcription by using AI. They are continuously testing and improving their AI so it becomes less biased. The most critical step in inclusive design is to recognize how bias infects the system.
HeadSpace’s website offers a customizable widget that gives people the option to activate any feature if necessary, such as screen reader, text reader, voice commands, keyboard navigation, and the ability to adjust colors on backgrounds, headlines or content.
If you would like to know more about inclusive design for either products or services (online and offline), you can check out these websites:
By: Irene Chambi