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Designing for Diversity

19 Dec 2017 by Suzy Amon

User-Centered Design exists to reduce the gaps between people. Because more often than not the person designing the product and the person using it are very different.   Our users ( customers, visitors,...

Telecommunications
designing for diversity suzy amon

user-centered design exists to reduce the gaps between people. because more often than not the person designing the product and the person using it are very different.

 

our users ( customers, visitors, friends ) have different ages, genders, cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, political views. they come from different places, but most importantly – they think differently than you.

research has shown that we do the majority of our thinking in our subconscious mind. this is where we store our habitual or unconscious biases.

did you know – if your brain was given a choice it would like to do the same things over and over again to conserve decision-making energy?

as creators, we have great power and therefore a great responsibility to be aware of our natural biases.

because of our design decisions, our audience will have a pleasurable or frustrating experience with a product. as a flow-on effect, that shapes how they feel about the brand and sometimes themselves.

here are some strategies we can use to start closing the gaps and combating bias:

  1. incorporating user research into our process: take the time to really know your audience, so you can have empathy for them.
  2. by hiring a diverse team: no surprises here, we need more unique perspectives to see what we don’t.
  3. building emotional intelligence: some people naturally have more than others but it can be learned. it assists in problem-solving and inspiring others.

so how will we bridge the gap in diversity so that our design captures a wider audience, making the experience more positive for a larger proportion of the population?

diversity, design, ux, effective design

Getting married at first sight

18 Dec 2017 by Suzy Amon

Getting married at first sight is a dumb idea, but a surprisingly good TV show. You go blindly into a massive commitment, things get ugly but you come away having learned a lot about what you really want. In many ways,...

Telecommunications
getting married at first sight suzy amon

getting married at first sight is a dumb idea, but a surprisingly good tv show. you go blindly into a massive commitment, things get ugly but you come away having learned a lot about what you really want. in many ways, this is exactly like a design sprint.

we don’t know what we don’t know, and as much as we think we’re good at envisioning what our audience want we can’t really know without asking them.

so, when it comes to investing big money it’s a good idea to do a rehearsal.

recently we conducted a sprint to validate a few big questions we had before leaping into building the margaret mahy website. the website would be a place to house margaret’s legacy, with around 160 pieces of work, and a range of audience groups young and old. it needed to be magical, easy to search through large amounts of content and also have the potential to win awards.

a lot to ask for with a small budget and a lot of investment by insight creative.

"when it comes to investing big money it’s a good idea to do a rehearsal."

to start with we took one week to validate if we even liked the idea enough to invest, and to explore how practically it would work from a functionality point of view.

then with week two, we prototyped the key functionality so we could see if it would work and if it was going to be as cool as we’d built it up to be in our minds.

what we learned from this experiment was there is some key functionality that needs to be invested in, that quality content will be very important, and that overall it is an exciting opportunity to make an award-winning site but we’re going to need to invest a lot of our time.

the great thing about a sprint is having all these key learnings at the beginning so we can make better decisions and have a clearer expectation of what’s to come.

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