The importance of inclusive UX Design.

UX Design is based on research to create optimal user experiences. Historically, UX pioneers and thought leaders have not emphasized design for a diverse range of user identities. Therefore, UX design is often taught with little or no mention of inclusive design practices.

People approach products and technology believing that a team of experts has implemented checks and balances to ensure the product was designed with them in mind. < /p>

People expect experiences that consider their social identities relevant to the product — disability, race, gender, skin color, age, size, language.

Accessible UX Design minimizes barriers so that content and resources can be accessed and used regardless of permanent, situational or temporary impairments in the areas: hearing, motor, vision, speech and cognition. As disability is just one aspect of identity, accessibility is an aspect of inclusive design.

Inclusive UX Design minimizes interaction distance from any social identity relevant to the product: disability, race/ethnicity, gender, skin color, age, size, sexual orientation , language, etc., and also respect the needs and expectations of the diverse range of users that the product serves.

Why is inclusive UX design important?

When a design doesn’t consider a diverse audience, neglected groups will find an alienating experience and turn to other brands. 

When talking exclusively about accessibility, call it accessible design, not inclusive design. A product can be accessible and still alienate other identities relevant to the product, making it: misogynist, racist, heteronormative, cisnormative, xenophobic, biased skin tone, etc. Inclusive design is intersectional.

Current inclusive UX design

As UX professionals, our design choices can inspire, motivate, connect, empower and support the achievement of goals. They can also alienate, offend, marginalize, misrepresent and create barriers, which is obviously not a good user experience.

UX thought leaders have long normalized inclusive design

as fundamental to UX work, rather than occasionally mentioning it as a niche topic.

Like most UX education, industry leaders and content creators tend to ignore inclusive design, here’s a list to learn how to design inclusive experiences. 

If you know of any other good inclusive UX features, let me know in the comments, as I will be periodically adding them to this list:

Questions to ponder:

  • Does this reflect the arrival of people who used the final design?
  • Does this provide a welcoming experience?
  • Could it be cultural appropriation?
  • It  adaptable in different contexts and environments?
  • Will it help people achieve their goals efficiently, regardless of their ability?
  • Is it reliable?
  • We’ll be designing with, not for?
  • Does it respect and make room for diverse identities?
  • Who are we excluding?

Conclusion

Recognizing that our actual audience may be wider than our target audience and our assumptions about them are likely wrong is a great first step in inclusive UX design. Let’s think big and design responsibly.

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