Inclusive product design — 4 areas to consider

As UX designers it is our job to bring the human element into a digital product. We design for inclusivity, we consider our audience and are directly informed by what they have to say. Being the advocate of the user, empathising with their unique circumstances and needs and giving them a voice is what has led many of us, including me, to pursue this career.

But we have to admit an uncomfortable truth. With aggressive deadlines, the need to push out MVPs, and small startups developing products without the input of a product designer/ user representative at those early stages, a lot slips through the net. Sometimes it’s on our watch. Sometimes it’s a legacy we inherit. Sometimes it bypasses us altogether and suddenly it’s there. Either way, when it hits the customer, things can start to unravel.

As our day to day responsibilities sometimes mean we cannot see the wood for the trees, a lot of tools in our arsenal can help us zoom out a bit and look at things with fresh eyes, and even force us to roleplay a bit and foresee potential issues that we didn’t anticipate at first. Here’s a broad checklist that covers some of the areas we need to review prior to releasing something to the public. Some of these tips may also be useful to your front end dev and/or QA engineer.

Mini disclaimer: This is not by any means an exhaustive list and there is a lot of material out there on how to make your product more inclusive, thanks to our great community.

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