Inclusive Design: A step towards Happier Humans

Inclusive Design: A step towards Happier Humans

Date

March 15, 2021

Author

Hannah Gatland & Robbie Cappuccio

Category

News

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At RXP our goal is ‘Making Happier Humans’; that’s why we consider accessibility at every stage of our process.

Inclusive design is good for society, good for business, and the right thing to do. Find out some steps to take to ensure your design is more accessible.

“We have a moral duty to remove the barriers to participation, and to invest sufficient funding and expertise to unlock the vast potential of people with disabilities.”
– Stephen Hawking

 

What is ‘accessibility’ and what is ‘inclusive design’?

‘Inclusive design’ is a mindset which drives a design approach that draws on diversity with the aim of ‘responsible creation’. It is based on three principles[1]:

  1. Recognise exclusion. All humans grow and adapt to the world around them, so design should reflect that. We focus on identifying and removing biases in our design to make sure we don’t exclude anyone.
  2. Solve for one, extend to many. Designing for people with permanent disabilities results in designs that benefit a larger number of people.
  3. Learn from diversity. Inclusive design puts people in the centre from the very start of the process. Those fresh, diverse perspectives are the key to real insight.

Accessibility is the outcome of inclusive design and are the qualities of your product or service that make an experience open to all.

 

Why does it matter?

1 in 6 Australians live with a permanent disability: they could be your promoters or detractors, and they deserve to access goods, services and public spaces with the same ease as everyone else.

As a relatively large portion of the population, they hold and influence a lot of buying power, making accessible design is also good for business. Their buying power is estimated to be $40 billion. This figure increases by a factor 6 - to $240 billion - when considering a buyer’s circle of family and friends.

We will all experience periods of temporary limitations on how we access the world around us, be it a broken leg, ear infection, or other physical impairments that impact us.

The law is also in place to ensure fair access for all. The Disability Discrimination Act ensures that it is illegal to discriminate against a person because of their disability when providing goods, services, facilities, or access to public premises. By focusing on inclusive design, you can ensure that your product passes the set standards.

We believe accessible design should aim to do more than simply meet legal standards. Inclusive design should deliver an experience that is sensible, meaningful and successful for all users.

[1] As outlined by Microsoft in their Inclusive Design

How do you embed accessibility in your project?

Inclusive design starts with empathising with a broad spectrum of users and understanding their needs, behaviour, thoughts and feelings.

Failing to do this will ground your solution on assumptions, and you may exclude those who may need it most.

By focusing on accessibility from the beginning, the problem you aim to solve will be magnified, solutions will be more inclusive, ultimately making your users 'happier humans'.

We use an inclusive approach throughout our design process:

  • By conducting research with a range of users, including people with varying abilities.
  • By following practical experience design guidelines from project inception through project delivery beyond technical code compliance.
  • By testing our solutions with users to uncover issues which automated compliance tests do not detect.

A tailored approach can be created that meet business needs, allowing for any time or budget restraints. Our process minimises associated risk involved with having in accessible products and helps set businesses up for ongoing inclusive practices. ​

Would you like to discuss how you can consider accessibility in your products? Get in touch!

 

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