Top Inclusive Design Principles You Must Know

What is an Inclusive Design?

An inclusive design, whether it’s a product design or a UX design, works the same for everyone. It doesn’t discriminate against people based on their caste, race, religion, color, or other factors that “bad” people love to discriminate on.

Some people confuse inclusion with accessibility. While both of these aim to make the product usable for everyone, they aren’t exactly the same.

Accessibility features are often targeted at people with certain conditions. For example, the ability to control your phone with voice is useful for people with weak eyesight. So, it’s an accessibility feature.

Inclusion, on the other hand, changes the way you approach the design. However, accessibility is a part of inclusion, too. Simply put, all accessibility features are included, but all-inclusive principles aren’t accessibility features.

Examples of Inclusive Design

If a company limits its app’s best features from being used in a certain country without any technical reason, it’s not being very inclusive. Secondly, if an app doesn’t have any features to let blind or deaf people use it, that’s not being very inclusive, either.

All in all, designing for accessibility and inclusion is the duty of every organization or solo designer — no matter what they’re designing in the first place.

Why are Inclusive Designs important?

First of all, discriminating against people due to various factors is a jerk move — no one should do it.

Secondly, there are numerous benefits to creating and promoting inclusive designs.

As you’re targeting a larger audience, you get more reach, get loved by more people, and, yes, earn more money.

Plus, when you’re designing for everyone without any trace of discrimination, consumers admire you. Two-thirds of consumers prefer siding with a company that stands for a purpose.

A little feature earning love and support of the audience

Last but not least, designing for accessibility and inclusion actually helps your SEO. Search engines love to rank web pages loved by a wider audience.

So, practice inclusion; it’s awesome.

Top Inclusion Design principles

With that out of the way, let’s look at some top design principles you must keep an eye on.

Find out why people are being excluded in the first place

Many designers fail to make inclusive designs simply because they lack inclusive design education!

That’s right, most designers don’t even know they’re being exclusive — and it must be fixed.

If you’re a team leader, you must go through your products and find out any areas of exclusion. If there are any, eliminate them.

Hire people from different communities

If you’re leading an organization with a bunch of people working for you, ask yourself, “Is my workforce inclusive?”

If the answer is “Yes!” — that’s good. But if the answer is “No,” — there is some work to be done.

You see, when you’re building something that will be used by different kinds of people, it must be designed for different kinds of people. You need diverse brains in your company to be able to understand different markets and design for them specifically.

Take out the trash we like to call “personal bias.”

A good leader doesn’t discriminate against people based on any factor. If you have that property, cheers to you! But if you do discriminate, maybe it’s time to rethink some life choices.

A team leader or designer shouldn’t have any kind of bias while the design is being done. If they do, they’re most likely not going to do a great job designing for accessibility and inclusion.

If you have someone like that in your team, maybe offer them some inclusive design education.

To further remove undetected personal bias, perform your user testing on people from different communities. Don’t base it all on people of a certain group. Instead, invite people from as many groups as possible to join you.

Offer various ways to interact.

As said earlier, accessibility is a part of inclusion — and you need to pay attention to it equally.

You must offer multiple ways for people to interact with your product. So, even if the primary way of interaction is somewhat usable, every user should be able to find the “optimum” way of doing so.

For instance, if your product has some kind of dictated audio, you must provide a transcription for it. So, when a consumer has a hearing disability, they’d be able to read the text on the screen and use your product without an issue.

Promise to provide a similar experience to everyone

Sometimes there are technical limitations to why you can’t provide a similar experience to everyone. For instance, if you’re rolling out a new UI design for your product through a server-side update, and you can’t seem to do it for everyone at the same time due to server limitations, you’re not really being “non-inclusive.”

However, if you have perfected the ability to offer the same design to everyone without a technical limitation, you must do it. Limiting users from a certain country from accessing the new design without reason is not very responsible for you.

Metronome: color vision deficiency in account settings

The Bottom Line

All in all, inclusive designs are the way to go in modern business. But I know that coming up with effective ways to build inclusive designs is no child’s play.

So, what do you do? Let Sketchy Digital help. We can build beautiful, eye-catching, but inclusive designs for you that appeal to every kind of audience alike. Want to hear more about what we do? Visit our website now!

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Alex Jakov
Chief Executive Officer
Former co-founder of Opendoor. Early staff at Spotify and Clearbit.

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