Product design that encourages inclusivity

Published on: 22nd August 2022

DCA's Dan Jenkins, Human Factors & Research Lead, will be talking about Inclusive Design at an online event for Product Management Today on September 28, 2022 7:00 pm BST.

The talk can be summarised with these four diagrams:

1. Inclusive Design is more than just designing for disabled people – Disability is something that happens at the intersection of the Person and the Task and/or the Environment. Anyone can be disabled by a poor fit between these things. The people that specify the task and the environment (designers, product owners, manufacturers, system providers) all have the potential to influence who is included and excluded.

2. Inclusive Design is more than physical capabilities – we need to design for a range of capabilities at a Sensory, Cognitive and Physical level. These capabilities are also not fixed they change over time (as we age), and they also vary based on context and situation.

3. Inclusive design is about diversity – it’s more than just our size and strength, our ability (and inclination) to interact with products and services will be shaped by our Age, Gender & Sexuality, Ethnicity, Income & Social class, Education & training, Language & communication abilities, Culture and customs, Health & medical conditions.

4. Inclusive design cannot be done in isolation – if we want to get more inclusive products to market, we need to ensure that they are optimised on all levels. We need to consider other factors (performance measures) including Sustainability, Resilience, Satisfaction, Safety, Efficiency, Efficacy, and Cost.

A venn diagram showing the intersection of factors influencing design and a diagram highlighting usability concerns
A diagram showing key points to consider when designing for diversity and a diagram highlighting factors concerning system performance