Designers hold the power to redefine digital experiences that make everyone's life easier. They have the ability to impact design decisions and ensure benefits for users and businesses alike. Designers are always on a quest to show how diverse their teams are and how their designs are not for specific users but for everyone, irrespective of their gender, race, culture, ethnicity, and disability, or impairment. The focus lies in understanding the users and ensuring inclusivity.
Importance of inclusive design
The primary focus of the inclusive design is to ensure that the user experience is for a larger audience. With over 15% of the world population suffering from some form of disability, it bodes heavily on the UX designer to ensure that disabilities don't interfere with the user's ability to access the digital platforms.
An inclusive design approach helps to provide a massive boost to businesses and including inclusive design ensures equal access to everyone. This is something all users are bound to sit up and take notice of.
Most search engines place a greater value on the overall user experience, ensuring inclusivity in their designs. Thus, incorporating alt text for images, having descriptive link texts and closed captions in videos ensure a higher ranking than those pages that don’t incorporate these.
Inclusive design helps to boost sales too since the user experience is diversified enough to include a larger consumer base and users feel empowered to use your design. With the world witnessing a new decade of design, designers are constantly looking to build digital experiences that foster inclusivity.
How to redefine digital experiences through an inclusive approach
In order to ensure inclusivity, it is necessary for the designer to design something that helps increase productivity and usability. Having an inclusive approach throughout the design process enables designers to deliver an optimal user experience. However, along with an understanding of the target user, it is important to follow an organized process to get desirable outcomes.
We bring you 5 ways to redefine digital experience, innovation, and impact change with an inclusive approach.
1. Adequate research
Adequate research is needed to ensure a design isn't created primarily on our own biases. Research ensures more people have access to your design. Now when it comes to human beings, nothing can be termed 'normal' because to each individual, that holds a different meaning. Assuming that every ability and sense is fully enabled causes you to ignore a large proportion of people. Research lets you break down these barriers that lead you to ignore certain groups of people in the first place.
2. Using empathy in design
The first step of empathy is to understand that there are many individuals out there who might not be able to participate in several aspects of society in general. This is why it is necessary to ensure a user doesn't face the same when it comes to the digital experience.
An empathetic approach to design is the root of inclusive innovation. Right from designing audiobooks for the visually impaired to having smart keyboards and apps for the speech impaired, innovators and designers are striving to make the world inclusive and accessible.
3. User involvement in the designing process
The faith of UX is that a user should always be the primary stakeholder, which is why they are supposed to be the focus of all-digital experiences. Connecting with users helps us understand the different groups we are designing for. The idea is to deliver an experience that holds equal value for every user.
4. Ensure accessibility and inclusivity work together
As human beings, we often tend towards being biased. It leads us to believe that others share experiences similar to our own. To completely let go of this bias, it is important to give it time, intention, and adequate exposure to the experiences of people in complete contrast to ours. The only way to ensure this is to make your design both accessible and inclusive because when they work together, the end experience becomes usable to all.
5. Inculcating ethics into your Design Thinking
The idea is to design experiences through experiments with concepts. It is understanding the why before the what and taking into consideration different perspectives before trying to reach a conclusion. Re-structuring based on new insights, ideas, and exclusions helps you consider the users that are missing out on the experiences you're hoping to provide.
Human-led design thinking ensures radical empathy stays at the core. To ensure a long-term impact, empathy must lead the way to all creations. A user needs to be able to experience what the designer is trying to convey through his design. That is how the person will be able to relate to the product and the brand. The power to ensure this experience is both inclusive and accessible solely lies in the designing ethics of the designer.
Using inclusive design to embrace accessibility
By using inclusive design to embrace accessibility we mean – designing a product, service, or device that can be accessed by people having disabilities. While accessibility might not be our only concern, it is an integral component to ensure inclusion.
So, when a design is created, it helps to take into consideration a wide range of users with varying requirements. Working with people who might have certain restrictions to their abilities, allows you to figure out a concrete solution more easily.
Partnering with people for whom you are going to create the product also helps incorporate user feedback. This not just leads to inclusion but provides you with insights into the work you are doing and challenges you might face while doing it. It allows you to stay mindful of all the possible constraints a user might face with your product, thus enabling you to make changes as and where necessary.
Opting for inclusive design can be a great way to ensure your design's user experience takes into consideration a wide range of users from different environments. The primary focus of designers is to improve the overall digital experience and ensure accessibility through a people-centered approach.
To harness the power of an inclusive approach all levels of organizations should come together, collaborate with technology, evaluate with experts and redefine the existing digital experiences with designs that guarantee access to all. Speak with our team of experts about digital experiences that delight users and businesses alike.