Operationalizing Inclusive Design

How do we infuse sprints with an ethos of radical inclusivity?

As Elise Roy, an Inclusive Design Lead here at Google, said in her massively popular TED talk, when we design for disability, we all benefit. Our team took her insight and ran with it, looking for ways to infuse sprints with an ethos of radical inclusivity. We all have unintended blind spots, and they can get in the way of creating products that are accessible and beneficial to all. We used the scaffold of the Inclusive Design Process Map from Authentic Design to evolve every step of the sprint process to include a broader range of perspectives and priorities so inclusive design is the norm, not the exception.

The Challenge

When you plan a sprint or workshop that explicitly promotes and incorporates inclusive design, it’ll be challenging due to the cultural shift you have to cultivate. Over time, your effort will contribute to establishing the new norm for the future of sprints. Eventually, through the hard initial work you do to instill the right mindsets, behaviors and methods, inclusive design will not just be an after-thought, but an integral part of the entire process.

Co-creation canvas showing the process for the session

The Approach

Invest in tools and templates to make inclusive sprints the new norm.

  • Planning: Getting early a buy-in, considering a co-creation model, intentionally including users that are underrepresented in research.
  • Deciding: Evaluating and making decisions with and/or based on excluded perspectives that your team may be unintentionally blind to as well as the range of experiences that those excluded may experience (e.g. continuum personas).
Canvas for designing for all