Kat Holmes on Designing for Inclusion

The following is an excerpt of juror Kat Holmes’ 2016 post on inclusive design via design.blog.

When we design using our own abilities and resources as a baseline we can end up creating things that work for people with similar circumstances, but excluding everyone else. —Kat Holmes

A mismatched interaction between a person and their environment is a function of design. Change the environment, not the body. For people who design and develop technology, every choice we make either raises or lowers these barriers.

By recognizing exclusion we can start to build empathy for people who interact with unwelcoming designs every day of their lives. When we include people in our design process who have a range of abilities and disabilities, we can discover solutions that benefit everyone.

A design that works well for someone with one arm can also benefit someone with a broken elbow, or a new parent cradling an infant. Ultimately, we all experience exclusion in our lives. Places where we don’t fit. Mismatches between us and a product or environment. Even if it’s temporary, situational, or simply the progression of aging, we each face barriers to participating as we move through the world.

The physical, digital, and social spaces where we interact with each other are inclusive or exclusive by design. When we design diverse ways for people to participate, we just might be surprised by who shows up to play.

Kat Holmes / Author of Mismatch

November 16 Deadline

Entries for the Automattic Design Award are open starting October 29, 2018. All submissions will be due by November 16. Winners will be announced on December 3, 2018 just ahead of WordCamp US.

All entries are due by November 16, 2018 | 23:00 UTC.

Do speak up! TY —JM

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