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Our Equitable Future Depends on Forming Inclusive UX Teams NOW!

UX Y'all
September 28, 2021

Our Equitable Future Depends on Forming Inclusive UX Teams NOW!

UX Y'all 2021 Session with Shara Coutourier and Ally Hwang

UX Y'all

September 28, 2021
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  1. Our Equitable Future Depends on Forming Inclusive UX Teams NOW!

    Shara Coutourier & Ally Hwang
  2. Blink if you’ve ever uttered the words, “That’s not our

    user.”
  3. “When you design for everyone, you design for no one.”

  4. None
  5. None
  6. None
  7. The Impact of Reality We define our target user— determining

    who they are and importantly who they are not.
  8. The Impact of Reality We define our target user— determining

    who they are and importantly who they are not. We create safe spaces for this exclusive group, but unintentionally we create outsiders— the other populations that we leave behind.
  9. But wait! What if we could design for everyone?

  10. We are closing in on a future where designing for

    everyone is possible. Inclusive design, personalization, and technology are maturing.
  11. None
  12. Data We’re collecting and using all kinds of data— behavioral,

    attitudinal, descriptive, interactive. Listening to Customers We’re listening, learning, and analyzing the stories of all kinds of people at scale! We’re identifying triggers, hooks, delighters. Tech Stack We’re prototyping, developing, and testing faster in market to learn and iterate. We’re automating and optimizing. Progress Across Industries
  13. Technology Gap Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are not new.

    It’s been demanded by underrepresented communities for decades. However, the progress we’ve seen in this area is struggling to keep up with the progression we see in technological advances.
  14. Empathy.

  15. “Empathy is our ability to see the world through other

    people’s eyes, to see what they see, feel what they feel, and experience things as they do.” - Interaction Design Foundation
  16. “Empathy is our ability to see the world through other

    people’s eyes, to see what they see, feel what they feel, and experience things as they do.” - Interaction Design Foundation
  17. Empathy is not a substitute for a lack of representation.

    It’s important, but it’s not enough to close the technology gap.
  18. User feedback Diluted feedback incorporated into final product How do

    we move users closer to the end product?
  19. Like it or not, our tech tends to reflect the

    people who create it.
  20. Technology is morally neutral. But those who build the technology

    have the greatest influence over setting its course.
  21. None
  22. Gender Shades - Classification Error Rates 20.8 - 34.7% 0.7

    - 12% 1.7 - 7.1% Darker female faces Darker male faces Lighter female faces Lighter male faces 0 - 0.8% 10% 20% 30% 40%
  23. It’s urgent that our UX communities start forming diverse, inclusive

    teams NOW! We need to start forming teams with a focus on solidarity— unity in action— over empathy for a truly equitable future.
  24. Leaving Behind - Screening for empathy in interviews - Blind

    portfolio reviews - Determining homogenized designs as “good” - Day-long workshop interviews Keeping or Starting - Asking how one has incorporated inclusivity into their work (e.g. Microsoft loops) - Building a diverse pipeline - Looking for candidates that fill a gap on your team - Expand your team’s view on what is “good design” - Take-home tests that complement the interview When it comes to hiring, consider...
  25. Forming teams is greater than Hiring Anyone can form a

    team! Not only hiring managers, and HR folks.
  26. Forming teams is about bringing people together with a common

    goal of action. They can be internal or external. They can be clients or vendors. They can be fellow associates or users. They can be specialists or entire communities.
  27. Forming teams is about bringing people together with a common

    goal of action.
  28. Think for a moment what your current “team” looks like.

  29. Example Teams The Lone UXer “Haha, We’re the Same Person”

    The Token Diversity The Arnold Palmer One People Person, One Voice Mostly Diverse
  30. Diverse Having people of different backgrounds. Checking for representation and

    demographic distribution. Inclusive Giving diverse groups of people a space to voice their ideas and opinions, but also be heard. Multicultural Including and celebrating the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of people from around the world. Kinds of Diverse Teams
  31. Bring Proximal People Together Proximal people are near the work

    and easy to team up with. Fellow Associates Whether someone on your extended team or in your larger organization, it’s about bringing the right people to the right activities. That said, it’s important not to burden the One of Few in the organization. Existing Vendor/Client Relationships If you have an established relationship with a vendor or client, think about who’s in the room. Is there someone you can bring on your side, or request on the other side that can bring valuable ideas in a new way? (And we’re not talking about the Devil’s Advocate person. We’re talking about bringing in additional diverse talent)
  32. Bring “Outsiders” In People who aren’t necessarily near the work

    or the project team. They may require more effort to bring in. Customers and Users Reserve a seat at the table for users; make them stakeholders and give them ownership of the product experience. Create relationships that are more than a “one-off” collaboration. • Rebalance decision-making rights; allow users to drive the work in consult with the product team • Ask questions that put them in positions of power instead of validating the work Communities Engage with communities of people who may NOT be your “target user.” What might it look like to not exclude those groups in your product or design? • No group is a monolith. Challenge focus on “happy path” because many of users’ journeys are on the edge • To design for everyone means not treating groups as one voice; engage with communities as groups of individuals
  33. Forming teams is about bringing people together with a common

    goal of action.
  34. We need to form teams of solidarity over, not in

    place of, empathy. sol·i·dar·i·ty /ˌsäləˈderədē/ noun 1. unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.
  35. Common Goals of Action Our current jobs expect us to...

    - Determine key learning objectives - Formulate hypotheses - Brainstorm concepts together to test with people - Identify a strong recruit to interview and learn from - Find communities to collaborate with and design for - And more... Our equitable future demands we... - Create inclusive environments where everyone can bring their whole selves to work - Serve the needs of a broader audience by bringing outsiders in consistently (and pay them!) - Hold each other accountable and bring your bias
  36. Characteristics of Well-Formed Inclusive Teams • A safe place for

    uncomfortable and vulnerable conversations
  37. Characteristics of Well-Formed Inclusive Teams • A safe place for

    uncomfortable and vulnerable conversations • A willingness amongst team members to acknowledge their differences and lack thereof
  38. Characteristics of Well-Formed Inclusive Teams • A safe place for

    uncomfortable and vulnerable conversations • A willingness amongst team members to acknowledge their differences and lack thereof • A high level of comfort with continuously challenging the team’s own assumptions
  39. Characteristics of Well-Formed Inclusive Teams • A safe place for

    uncomfortable and vulnerable conversations • A willingness amongst team members to acknowledge their differences and lack thereof • A high level of comfort with continuously challenging the team’s own assumptions • Getting opinions from everyone so your team can make the most informed decision
  40. “Individuals tend to pay more attention to novel insights contributed

    by people different than themselves. We expect people we know well — who tend to be like us— to think like us. When they offer new information, we discount it. Yet, when an acquaintance offers new information, we pay attention, play with the new information, and are more creative.” - Jill Perry-Smith
  41. Forming diverse, inclusive teams is the start of closing our

    existing technology gap.
  42. Which is why our equitable future depends on forming inclusive

    UX teams NOW!