Inclusive

Often times we don’t realize we’re being exclusive unless you’re in school or a closed-door meeting. Between the cliques since grade-school to social rankings of the world, we often find ourselves being exclusive even when we don’t intend to be.

So you can safely assume that whatever we design is also excluding someone who may want to use it.

I want to be the best Ux Designer this world has ever known, but some of the greatest…a few of the greatest minds get together and speak at conferences that cost the kind of money I am now only able to afford after seven years. SEVEN!

That’s a lot of time out of the main loop. I get that they have to cover costs but I don’t have to go to learn. Are they aware of how they’ve excluded the mass majority of the Ux Design population? Its not just them really anybody who throws a conference risks excluding anyone not making enough money to attend.

But they maybe making enough money to purchase access to watch the videos after the fact or even better in real time so that they can shoot questions.

It’s all about accessibility. If we as Ux Designers are so concerned about being inclusive we need to look at accessibility. In every aspect. When we build personas what are we missing?

When you build a site do you automatically assume that the user is like you, able to afford, fast, reliable internet connection from the comfort of their home. What if all they have is their smartphone that only has one bar and maybe two if they go to that one spot in their apartment? What if they only have access to the internet at McDonalds using their wifi? Or at the library with so many restrictions they maynot be able to pull up YouTube? Foreign countries? Language barriers? Out of date equipment?

Yes?

Thought so.

What about the visually impaired and those with hearing problems?

Those without TV, Netflix, Hulu, etc?

Those with bad credit and no bank account, only cash?

Those with no phone or computer?

Those without a car?

Youth without an involvedĀ legal guardian to take the time to help them signup for something.

Show me a design that doesn’t put someone at a disadvantage on purpose.

John Maeda – A message on Design and Inclusion

I absolutely agree with this, something that I’ve felt is a required characteristic of a Ux Designer. We have to care about people. How our interfaces effect users. We want to be as inclusive as possible.

Design and Exclusion

Keynote_01-John Maeda

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Glory

Whatever you do, do it for glory

I am about to get a bit biblical on you. If this were church I would say do it for the glory of God. So let’s get real, when you are creating an interface for anything less than to be the best, to win an award it is just something created to fix a problem.

Research, Design, Solve and Build solutions that are ground-breaking. If not then there is something else out there that would’ve solved it. You would’ve easily solved the problem without all this work you put into to just “solve a problem” to just “shut a user group up” to just…to just isn’t enough.

Sure you’ll be helping a few people, but that’s just a few when you could help a whole multitude of people who didn’t even know they needed to be helped!

If you think your design is that “ish”, judge not before the appointed time. Until your designs are reviewed by a panel of professionals. Until word comes back if what you’ve put together is as great as you think it tobe. Well do you even think it’s that great? Are you proud of your work?

Design something you’d be proud of.

Conduct your research in a way to create something ground-breaking. Find places where others have failed and you can reign. If God is in the details, be specific.

If someone else can get credit for something you put together, it isn’t your work, not really, you just brought a few things together to create something different, but not something new.

Glory is achieved when people can see past the well crafted design and pickup on something unique, something new, breathtaking and they can put their finger on it. Whether it be a feeling or an action that is felt immediately and they then go back to see what exactly it was. That, now that’s glory.

I do beg of you tho, do it for the service of your craft, your industry, not for the popularity. Exploit the process not the designer. Be concerned about quality of your work. Quality research begets quality analysis, begets quality design, begets clean code, begets quality service. When you have doubters, people who wish to question your approach, you’re on the right path.

Study the rules, the best practices, the elements of design before you break them.