Inclusive Design Principles: 4 takeaways

You’ve probably already seen the new set of logos from Google’s G Suite. They replaced a bunch of recognisable logos into something… well, decide for yourself:

Credits: Google

I understand what Google wanted to accomplish: uniformity. However, I feel that you can achieve uniformity on one side and be distinguishable within your design on the other. The set of logos designed by Google are -in my opinion- just too similar. From a distance, they all look alike. Because of their shape and because of their similarity in colour. All logos have the same ‘weight’ of colours being used.

When I saw the new logos, I immediately though: Did Google even test the logos on a big group of users: those with visual impairment?

That question brings me to what I want to talk about today: Inclusive Design.

Inclusive Design

First off: what is Inclusive Design?

The Inclusive Design Research center describes the term as follows: Inclusive Design considers the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age, and other forms of human difference.

In my opinion UX Design & Inclusive Design go hand in hand.

If you’ve done your research you should have a clear view of your users. With that clear view you always know what the needs of your users are.

However, some projects require some extra care. Over the past couple of years I’ve worked as a Freelance UX Designer for municipalities, government agencies and opticians One of the most important aspects of projects done for above mentioned organisations is inclusivity.

I want to share four takeaways with you.

Four takeaways — Inclusive Design Principles

1. One design is not enough

Think of ways to implement alternative features in your design.

For example: If you design for just one (small) font size, your design will be crooked when someone needs a bigger font. Other things to think of when designing an interface are the implementation of: alt text, sign language, and a toggle for high contrast.

When you provide alternatives, you make sure that everyone can have a good experience, without affecting the content of the website.

2. Be consistent

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes it can be good to think different, but most of the times your end product will excel with well-known design.

3. Give control

This one is an addition to the first one. It is important to give the users the control to change browser and interface settings.

4. Solve for one, extent to many

Everyone has abilities, and limits to those abilities. Designing for people with permanent disabilities actually results in designs that benefit people universally. Constraints are a beautiful thing. [1]

Thank you for reading. Reach out to me if you want to.

Freelance Designer



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