Inclusion Design is all about people
In a world where Access For All is key, successful inclusive design is on everyone’s mind. What’s interesting about the concept is that it requires bringing real people into the design process very early on. Believe it or not, a lot of design today doesn’t actually involve the end user, which means that a lot of design decisions are made at a corporate and strategic level. Surprisingly few things actually get tested by real people, but inclusive design is here to change that.
What makes Inclusive Design so unique is that it takes testing to a higher level and insists that we need to change our whole conception of design and the development phase. It’s not about showing someone something you have designed and saying “do you like it?”. It’s about asking people how they are living their lives, what their barriers are, and what their concerns. The Norwegian Design Council’s 2010 publication “Innovating With People: The Business of Inclusive Design” explains:
“Design can be described as the process of examining a problem and creating a solution. Inclusive Design brings the perspective of real people to that problem, inspiring a multitude of viewpoints and unexpected ideas… people who make greater demands of a product, service or environment and therefore challenge it in ways beyond that of the average mainstream user.”
Before diving further into the results of Norway’s very interesting design strategy, let’s define some of the most common design terms: