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Love in the Time of Coronavirus: what the pandemic can teach us about creating a more caring, inclusive, and equitable world.

28a7165396905ffabc4d1f45609efc39?s=47 Steve Barnett
November 04, 2020

Love in the Time of Coronavirus: what the pandemic can teach us about creating a more caring, inclusive, and equitable world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that many things we thought couldn’t be done, in fact can be. Companies that insisted on full-time, inflexible, working hours pivoted overnight to be fully remote. People who thought they didn’t have any creative skills started baking sourdough bread and knitting scarves. Businesses that used to distil alcohol now produce hand sanitiser. And communities have come together to feed and care for their most vulnerable members. This new perspective on what’s possible gives us an extraordinary opportunity to hit the reset button and reimagine a global future that speaks to collaboration, flexibility, and inclusivity. In this talk we’ll explore examples of how key aspects of our lives have changed during the pandemic, and how the lessons we’ve learned from these experiences can help us design systems, services, and products that are accessible, human-centred, and equitable.

28a7165396905ffabc4d1f45609efc39?s=128

Steve Barnett

November 04, 2020
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Transcript

  1. Love in the Time of Coronavirus* What a pandemic can

    teach us about creating a more caring, inclusive, and equitable world * with huge respect and love for the writings of Gabriel García Márquez
  2. The most important thing in this talk We can choose

    a more human-centered way
  3. Who the heck are we? Nicola du Toit Product designer

    working at Luno, living in Joburg @sophdex linkedin.com/in/ nicoladutoit nicoladutoit.com
  4. Steve Barnett Front-end developer and UX person working at Totara,

    living in New Zealand Who the heck are we? @maxbarners linkedin.com/in/ steve-barnett naga.co.za
  5. Quick question (foreshadowing!) What’s the most recent thing you’ve done

    that was human-centered?
  6. Agenda 1. “The COVID switch” 2. Examples 3. How does

    this help us as designers?
  7. “The COVID switch” 1 of 2 • COVID-19 is highlighting,

    for more people, a wide set of systemic and structural inequalities in the world. • Of course, this stuff has been clear to many people for a long time, namely the people directly affected by it.
  8. “The COVID switch” 2 of 2 Can’t be done ➡

    can be done. ➡
  9. Agenda 1. ✔ “The COVID switch” 2. Examples 3. How

    does this help us as designers?
  10. Before COVID For medical care and test results, we had

    to: • pay money to travel and see a doctor or nurse in person. • queue with lots of other sick people. • wait days or weeks for test results. Example 1: Access to healthcare
  11. During COVID • Many medical services are free and online.

    • We have drive-thru testing. • We can get test results in hours - by text or via WhatsApp! Example 1: Access to healthcare
  12. Before COVID Most of us had to: • Survive a

    long commute to work. • Work Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. • Work in busy, noisy, open plan spaces. Example 2: Working from home
  13. During COVID • No more commuting in awful traffic! •

    More flexible hours! • More relaxed working environments that we can control! • Pyjama pants and office pets! Example 2: Working from home
  14. Example 3: Community care Before COVID • We didn’t necessarily

    know our neighbours. • We weren’t engaging with our community. • We weren’t taking collective responsibility for the well-being of other humans.
  15. Example 3: Community care During COVID • We are reaching

    out and supporting each other more. • We are self-organizing to help those in need. • We are taking better collective responsibility for everyone’s well-being.
  16. 2020 has been horrible This year has been really shite.

    But some things have become more human-centered, and we can use this.
  17. Agenda 1. ✔ “The COVID switch” 2. ✔ Examples 3.

    How does this help us as designers?
  18. How does this help us as designers? The COVID-19 pandemic

    has reminded us that humans are actually really good at being: • Empathetic • Flexible • Inclusive
  19. How does this help us as designers? When we do

    human-centred design: • Can’t be done becomes can be done! • Unusable becomes user-friendly! • Feature-focused becomes human-centred! ➡
  20. Empathy For example: do user research with the actual humans

    we’re designing for. Understand who they are, what they need, and how our product can help them.
  21. Flexibility For example: make stuff that works for a wide

    range of technology. We can build products and services that work on a variety of screen sizes, on low bandwidth and at slow speeds, on older and slower devices.
  22. Inclusivity For example: accessibility! Remove barriers that might block people

    from using our stuff (e.g. low colour contrast, small fonts, not keyboard-friendly). Making things even a little more accessible will improve our product for everyone!
  23. Quick question (callback!) What's the next thing you can do

    in a more human-centred way?
  24. Agenda - recap edition 1. ✔ “The COVID switch” 2.

    ✔ Examples 3. ✔ How does this help us as designers?
  25. Recap: the most important thing in this talk We can

    (still) choose a more human-centered way!
  26. “It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to

    be a little bit better than yesterday." - Leonie Watson
  27. Love in the Time of Coronavirus Thank you! Slides at

    bit.ly/uxsa2020
  28. Questions? Nicola: nicoladutoit.com || @sophdex || linkedin.com/in/nicoladutoit Steve: naga.co.za ||

    @maxbarners || linkedin.com/in/steve-barnett Slides at bit.ly/uxsa2020
  29. None