Microsoft’s Radical Bet On A New Type Of Design Thinking


This is the first time that I have heard of “inclusive design”. The idea is that in designing for underserved populations, we can build better technology for all.

Here are a couple of examples. For more examples and explanation, read the article on Fast Company Design.

The idea is that by designing with the disabled in mind—designing so that the disabled can have universal access—we can create products better for everyone else. After his accident, de los Reyes now had no choice but to think about one classic example of universal design: the curb cut, those low concrete ramps that allow wheelchair users to mount a sidewalk, but which also help everyone from the elderly crossing the street to kids toting their bicycles.

Let’s say you’d like to build a phone that’s easier to interact with while you’re driving. You could just try to study people driving with their phones. Or you could actually study how the blind use their phones. How do they know when their phones are paired with another device? What aural feedback do apps need to provide, when opened? You could build those features into a phone, so that by serving someone disabled, you serve everyone else better. Holmes put it more succinctly: “We’re reframing disability as an opportunity.”

Source: Microsoft’s Radical Bet On A New Type Of Design Thinking | Co.Design | business + design

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