Have you ever found yourself unable to use a product or service meant for “everyone”?
Imagine a tall building, you need to get to the top but there’s no elevator. There are stairs but climbing stairs is difficult for you just as it is diificult for other people who are pregnant, motivationally dispossessed, in a wheelchair, nursing a sprained ankle or with heavy groceries. The challenge of reaching the top does not stem from the people or you but rather within the design. The building itself should have been designed with an elevator to be easily accessible or accessible at all. The problem illustrated here is a problem many products and services face: the products and services are designed to serve everybody but in reality, only work for a portion of everybody. Inclusive design tackles this issue by specifically targeting people who are marginalized and satisfies the remainder as a result of the broader beneficial impact.
In this website you will find explanations for the key aspects and philosophies of inclusive design, such as the "3 dimensions of inclusive design" and the ‘nothing about us without us’ idea. As well as guides that address the lesser discussed issues such as colour contrast to help anyone who wishes to create their own inclusive resource. In addition, a glossary is provided to help define key terms.
Why do we need Inclusive Design?
Inclusive Design and Universal Design have the same core goal: build and design for everyone. The difference lies within the method to achieve this goal. Universal Design attempts to find one solution that works for everyone. Inclusive Design find a solution that is changeable. But why should able-bodied people care beyond their own altruism? Mainly because the problems the marginalized face can be experienced by anyone. For example, an app that relies on drag-and-drop interaction does not fit the needs of a screen reader user or someone with a broken wrist. If the design was created considering this issue, no one would have to face this problem. There is also money to be made when targeting the 100% of an audience rather than 80% that are accounted for without an inclusive design. More inclusive design also leads way to give more people accessbility and the resultant prosperity and power from being able to do more.