Inclusion is a buzzy word these days for businesses intent on conveying to people that they are a place for everyone, offering a product or service for everyone. In a power talk at the 2018 GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Kat Holmes, director for UX design at Google, shared with the audience how there are many different ways to interpret the word “inclusion.”
In a talk titled “Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design,” Holmes mentioned how the World Health Organization dramatically changed, in 2001, its definition of disability, calling it a “mismatched interaction between the features of a person’s body and the features of the environment in which they live.”
Holmes took it upon herself as a designer and an engineer to better understand how the work that she and the people that she partners with is either increasing or decreasing mismatched interactions between people and their world.
Moments of exclusion have always lead to innovation in design, and Holmes shared examples as varied as the bendy straw, typewriter, Xbox adaptive video game controller and a kids’ water park.
“Inclusive design is not about creating one thing for all people,” Holmes said. “It’s not about creating an access point, but it’s about creating a shared diversity of ways to participate in a place with a sense of belonging.”