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UXA2023 Alina Butolina - The Value of Global Inclusive Design Practices

uxaustralia
August 24, 2023

UXA2023 Alina Butolina - The Value of Global Inclusive Design Practices

Inclusive Design has emerged as a global practice, but what are the benefits of incorporating its principles into design practices in Australia? In this presentation, I will define what Inclusive Design is and what it isn’t, highlight common misconceptions and explore the benefits Inclusive Design brings to businesses and users. The audience will walk away with a better understanding of the global inclusive design movement, and everyday practices they can implement tomorrow to make more inclusive and accessible products, services and spaces.

uxaustralia

August 24, 2023
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  1. Note that this is an unedited transcript of a live event and therefore may contain errors. This transcript is the
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    www.captionslive.au | [email protected] | 0447 904 255
    UX Australia
    UX Australia 2023
    Thursday, 24 August 2023
    Captioned by: Bernadette McGoldrick & Kasey Allen

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    Page 32
    Let's get started for our mid-morning session. We have got four
    talks coming up, so fairly short and sharp-paced ones. The first one that
    we have got coming up is from Alina who will join me on stage in a
    moment. Talking about the power of inclusive design. I think it is a good
    follow on from our codesign session, although the context is a little
    different but I am really looking forward to Alina's talk and please join me
    in welcoming her to the stage. Thank you, Alina. (APPLAUSE)
    ALINA BUTOLINA: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. I hope everyone
    can hear me all right? I hope everyone is doing great this morning. My
    name is Alina Butolina. I am a designer at Centre for Inclusive Design and
    today I am going to give you some insights on how inclusive design can
    add value to our industry. Before I go on, I would like to acknowledge the
    traditional custodians of the land we are meeting on today, the Gadigal
    people, and I would like to pay my respects to the elders past and
    present. I would also like to extend that respect to anyone that is
    Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people here today.
    Inclusive design. It's not a new concept at all but it is a very
    emerging space in our industry. Even looking at the last year, I see more
    and more curiosity coming towards inclusive design from young
    designers, from senior designers, from organisations. There are more and

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    Page 33
    more talks about inclusive design and sometimes there is a little bit of
    confusion about what it actually is and where to start.
    I am going to use today as a way to inspire, look into this kind of
    way of thinking. I am going to bring us back to the basics, because I
    really truly believe that having a really good foundation of knowledge will
    get you really far. I am going to talk about what inclusive design is, how
    to practice it, and what are the actual benefits of doing so?
    What the heck is inclusive design? When we talk about what we do,
    we use the definition of inclusive design is design that considers the full
    range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture,
    gender, age and all other forms of human difference. It is a mouthful, I
    am out of breath. I want to break it down a little bit.
    In Australia, what diversity and inclusion are often used
    interchangeable. They are fundamentally different, though. When we talk
    about diversity, we talk about numbers, or a presentation. We talk about
    presence of people from different backgrounds, cultures, languages and a
    lot of human - forms of human diversity. Inclusive design is the process
    of making sure that those people feel valued, respected and seen. It's
    making sure they feel like they belong and when we practice inclusive
    design, we achieve equity and here we say equity and not equality
    because when we talk about equality we believe everyone is equal, which
    is just not true. Equity is really the idea that everyone is going to interact
    with your design, your product or your service in a different way and it's
    up to us designers to design the multitude of pathways for them to use.
    For example, it is not enough to make your web site accessible, you
    actually need to test it to make it useable for everyone, no matter what.
    How do we do that, how do we design for everyone? Imagine this is
    a representation of community and their needs and experiences, let's say
    in Australia. In human-centred design we are so used to using personas,

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    Page 34
    based on the similarities that we often exclude people that already are not
    invited to the seat at the design table. The people that are on what we
    call the edge are actually very unique because they will have a different
    experience from the people we usually design for and not only that, they
    will have different experiences from each other as well. You can see how
    far apart they are. When we design with the edge in mind, we get such a
    variety of lived experiences, we can cover them all. The intersectionality
    of lived experiences that the edge users carry allows us to test with less
    people than the usual UX testing or research will require. We often say by
    putting your product or service through the lens of the most complex and
    most unique experiences will help you challenge your product or service
    and help you make it the best product that it can be.
    We often say solve for one and sell to many and this is what I mean
    by that. Imagine you are designing a product and you consider experience
    of someone that already can use one arm. Those insights will extend to
    someone that, for example, temporarily can only use one arm, because
    you broke your arm, it can happen, or simply think about a time that you
    were carrying something heavy, like a kid, or your groceries and you
    couldn't push the button on your phone just to make it work, so think
    about that which we use when we design apps. If you consider someone
    that has, for example, intellectual disability in your design processes, you
    automatically will solve potential design challenges for someone that
    doesn't have the capacity to focus at that very moment, for example,
    because they have a migraine. I don't know if you ever had a migraine
    but it is very hard to concentrate, or your designing potential you design
    challenges for someone that is very tired. Think about the very clean and
    easy to use web sites.
    A really good example is electric toothbrush. Design for people that
    have limited motor skills, we can't imagine our lives without electric tooth

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    Page 35
    brushes. My dentist can't imagine my life without my toothbrush. He
    keeps reminding never time I go to him. Captions and subtitles are a
    really good example, captions were designed for the community that are
    deaf and hard of hearing, to consume media and now we use captions
    every day. Think about social media, for example. If you read any social
    media report, it will say at least half of the users is using social media
    platforms on mute. You never know where you are, right, some of you
    might use it now as well. It happens to all of us. You are in a very long
    Zoom meeting that you didn't have to be in and you are sitting there and
    you have your phone, it is just there, put it on mute, check the
    information that your colleagues sent you this morning or you check that
    TikTok that your friends send you. For the legal reasons, that never
    happened to me. My manager in the crowd is just thinking about all the
    meetings that we had. Please don't fire me. But what it does, it was a
    problem that was solved for one, but it extended in a way that everyone
    is using it every day and it allows us to personalise our experiences to the
    needs that we have at that particular moment.
    Where in the design process do we practice inclusive design? Here is
    a beloved double diamond and, surprise, you can practice it everywhere. I
    would strongly advise to do it at the beginning, though. Starting with a
    problem and the research phase and using inclusive design to
    understand - really understand the potential challenges that you have to
    solve for, will help you get it right from the first time around. It will get
    into all the phases of design. By the time you are at the last phase and
    your product is ready, you will have far more comprehensive and better
    design product, service experience. It is also far more financially
    responsible to do so as designers, because not being inclusive can get you
    complaints, it can get complaints, you can get legal challenges, you can
    find yourself in the situation when you have to go all the way back to

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    Page 36
    solve something that you could have solved really early on. I have a
    really extreme but very real example of this and it's from Australia.
    A few years ago, one of the Australian State Governments ordered
    new trains. They were really excited about it. They put in an investment
    in for $4.4 billion and the trains were already running. A few trains, not all
    of them, but the amount of trains were already running and the
    complaints were started to come in. The complaints were the disabled
    bathroom was not useable and you will never guess who? People in the
    wheelchairs were not able to use the bathrooms. Because it is
    government, they had to pull the trains off the rails. They were not
    allowed to go on any more and to fix that issue and to pay for storage,
    they had to pay an additional $336 million of the taxpayers' money.
    Whoopsy. It is a big whoopsy. $336 million and I am just saying
    something, not even $20,000 for a really good research. I hope I didn't
    scare anyone too much.
    We talked about what inclusive design is and what the edge is, how
    to practice it, potential consequences. What are the actual benefits? I
    think it is important, as designers, to always look into new ways of
    thinking and designing. I think it is important to explore those things but I
    think it's important to actually know what the benefits are, at least for me
    and here are a few of the most important benefits that inclusive design
    can unlock for organisations, in my opinion. That is it will enhance your
    customer experience. It will open new markets, it will enhance your
    reputation and it will build trust with your customers and it simply drives
    innovation and creativity. I also have some examples for that as well.
    A really good example for enhancing the customer experience is
    accessible game controller from Microsoft Xbox. I know there are other
    accessible controllers out there but I am going to use this one for the
    sake of this example. Firstly, designed to cater for gamers with limited

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    Page 37
    mobility, the controller was designed in such a cool way that it resonated
    with gamers all around because of its customised ability. Sorry, I don't
    speak English. But it was so customised, people were like so I can actually
    look at it and I can just make it my own, which is really cool. What it also
    allowed to happen is that the gamers that had disabilities were able to
    connect with other gamers, they could play with their families members
    that just used another controller and they could just participate without
    any barriers.
    When we design for those unique experiences, we potentially open
    doors for ingenious solutions that can grow out to be a really profitable
    products. Think about audio books, for example. People that normally in
    real life know that I am a huge book nerd. I read at least 100 books a
    year, not the ones that will make me smart, but I would never be able to
    do that without listening to audio books and it is very late in life that I
    found out that audio books were first released in 1932 by American
    Foundation for the Blind and were presented in the form of vinyl records.
    Over time, audio books continued to grow with the technology and the
    time and it became a cassette tape and CDs and now with a product like
    Audible, which is owned by Amazon, we can listen to any book whenever
    we want, whenever we like. The target audience of audio books turned
    out to be a very niche, to a globally loved product that is very profitable. I
    truly believe these ideas grow out to be new products, think about audio
    description from SBS.
    Inclusive design also often aligns with the core principles of social
    responsibility and human rights. By championing inclusive design, we
    create this environments where everyone feels safe and environments
    where we can uphold the dignity of every individual. In the example of
    Uber safety feature, Uber recognised that there were some safety
    concerns from women and nonbinary drivers, especially at night and we

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    Page 38
    all know that night-time is the most busy time for Uber drivers. They
    didn't want to work anymore. Uber took action and they researched it and
    they introduced Uber safety feature that allowed those drivers who were
    not feeling safe to only except requests from female riders. What it did, it
    has really created this safe space for the community that - when we think
    about Uber drivers, we don't usually think about a female driver and
    provided a safe space, comfort space and what it actually did, it attracted
    more and more drivers from that demographic, opening the economic
    opportunities for them also and make them feel independent. The best
    thing, they did it without changing anything for the drivers or riders, they
    were not impacted by the safety issues.
    Inclusive design really helps us to have that game changing mindset
    and look into those amazing insights that the golden nuggets that
    potentially can be the next big breakthrough in design. It really questions
    the norm that we have set for ourselves in this industry and it makes us
    ask the question do we teach young designers enough? Am I doing
    enough as a designer? As a company? It really encourages us to think
    beyond the average and help us making people feel valued, respected and
    seen.
    Where to start? I didn't want to overwhelm anyone with too much
    information today but I think if you really want to read something or
    listen to something, start with these books and the podcast, this is just a
    small start to kind of get into the way of thinking of why inclusive design
    is so important, but if you are sitting down now and thinking how can I go
    next week into work and how can I try and actually introduce inclusive
    design into my organisation? Here are a few things you can do.
    Firstly, you have got to start talking about it. It needs to become a
    topic of conversation. People need to get inspired and excited about
    inclusive design because it is a very cool way of designing. That will allow

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    Page 39
    to you get the buy in from their organisation. Secondly, start connecting
    to the communities with different lived experiences than your own. Look
    at your team or your organisation, look at what and which experiences
    you already have and look where the gaps are and look at what you
    actually - which experiences you don't know anything about and start
    reaching out. You can volunteer, you can partner, or you can hire people
    with unique experiences.
    Next, look at the processes in your organisation that are already
    working, because I truly don't believe you have to do everything all at
    once. Look at what works really well and look where you can sprinkle a
    little bit of inclusive design into your processes.
    Run a trial. I know it is easier said than done and it doesn't have to
    be the biggest project, it doesn't even have to be a whole project, it can
    be part of the project. Know that it is OK to make mistakes. We are all
    human, we have all been there but as long as we are open to learn from it
    and are open about it, it is going to be fine. I have seen so many
    companies in the past few years come to us, learn from us, take our
    advice and be creating it in their own organisations and when I see those
    results, it's so inspiring and it's so cool.
    If you forgot everything that I already said, remember one thing;
    by considering people that have the most unique experiences, we can
    truly elevate the quality of our designs. Thank you. (APPLAUSE)
    ALINA BUTOLINA: So much time left.
    STEVE BATY: We have time for a question for Alina. Does anyone have a
    question that you would like to ask? If you do put up your hand and we
    will bring you a microphone. Kit, down the front here.

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    Page 40
    >> Good talk, thank you, very much. One thing I am interested in is how
    you think the idea of bringing inclusive design early in the process, how
    that gels with the whole push towards minimum buyable product kind of
    thinking of this tiny segment and try and deliver just for that and whether
    or not there is any tools or tips you can come up with to help us bring
    inclusive design, even when the projects are micro scale?
    ALINA BUTOLINA: If the project is in microscale and you only have - is it
    about budgets?
    >> Mostly, yes.
    ALINA BUTOLINA: Of course it is about the budgets. Know that whatever
    you do, you still have to test, or do research with people and, instead of
    the usual, try to implement the people that have those unique
    experiences because it will be financially beneficial. If your company, or
    whatever you do, is like "No, don't do it" just do it, find people - you don't
    have to tell anyone. (LAUGHTER) Because at the end, the product will be
    better and you can go "Hey, I told you so". I don't know if that answers
    your question. (LAUGHS) but it is that conversation that you have to have
    to explain why.
    STEVE BATY: Thank you. We have one more question.
    >> My name is Zoe. So you can't do inclusive design without talking to
    disabled people and many disabled people who have participated in
    inclusive design processes have reported afterwards that the experience
    has been insulting, degrading, thoughtless or in some way harmful. What
    can you tell us about running an inclusive design process which is safe for

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    Page 41
    disabled research participants?
    ALINA BUTOLINA: First of all, if you want, if you are going to, for
    example, run research with people with disabilities, you have to read into
    what language they use, how to talk to people, you have to be open
    about if you don't know anything, you have to have that conversation
    with them and don't be afraid to ask how they want to be approached,
    how they want to be talked to. Also, if you really are thinking about doing
    inclusive design and doing research, start getting those experiences
    before you actually need them. Start talking to people that have different
    experiences than you. It is also very beneficial, not only for your work.
    STEVE BATY: Thank you, very much. Please join me in thanking Alina.
    (APPLAUSE)

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