Tips to make your digital brands all-inclusive.
What does it mean to be all-inclusive and why is it important?
Diversity is a beautiful element of the human race, but often it fails to be recognized. With a globalized base, markets have flourished internationally, and the need to include newer consumers is growing. The “all-inclusive” concept is essential, both for the brands that are striving for more reach and the consumers whose needs are left unsatisfied.
Being all-inclusive does not only mean recognizing the diversity of people in general, but it is practice-oriented. Often, brands put various ad campaigns in which they tend to include happy faces of people belonging to different ethnic backgrounds. Still, a particular type of race mostly fills the company's organizational structure. Moreover, digital brands suffer from biased AI and insufficient services to the differently abled. The growing technological aspects have the potential to alter these shortcomings and thus make a brand all-inclusive.
Here we will discuss tips to help digital companies adopt an inclusive outlook.
An all-inclusive design structure - Designs are the essential features of digital brands as they directly impact the user experience. A reasonable consumer experience is precious for a brand’s reputation. Ux designers are encouraged to find designs that fill all the gaps between the consumers and the products.
A product can be built in various ways, but if it includes all the general methods of operation, it is more likely to be all-inclusive. Suppose the product is a ” Website”. The designers can mold it in such a way that it bears all visual, readable, and audible contents and that the essence of the “Website” can be obtained by everyone, despite physical differences.
The three recognized principles of inclusive designs-
Recognize exclusion- When a group of people design products based on their physical perceptions and experiences, a large population gets left out. To include everyone, the focus thus needs to be on those who are excluded. The designers need to understand their consumers well and the different groups they belong to. They need to understand their users' various environmental factors and physical limitations and design accordingly, based on their needs. Language translation features, impairment substitute functions like audio, visuals etc., for contents, and other such design elements are thus essential.
Learn from diversity- Differences are not always contradictory. There are so many features of designs that, when we adapt for a general group of people, increase the efficiency of user experience for everyone. A diverse pool of experiences often results in various solutions.
Solve for one, extend to many- When we weigh human beings based on their abilities, each individual is different. Thus disability is a nonexistent term, we are just differently abled. The incompetence in our abilities might be a result of various factors. Some are born with it, others acquire it due to temporal conditions or old age. Hence when designers solve one problem intended for a particular group, they should consider the other potential problems that can be solved by that solution, perhaps opening different doors with a single key. For example, the feature of larger text fonts helps anyone with inborn vision impairment or temporal vision difficulties.
A diverse team - A diverse group of product developers crafts something which includes their own experiences. Hence it is easy to recognize any form of bias and exclusion in a product when people with different ethics, physique, gender, and ability backgrounds are a team developing that product. Digital companies should hire people in an all-inclusive manner so that the exchange of cultural ideas is feasible. Not only it benefits the company in its functioning, but an inclusive structure also amplifies the reputation of the company and extends its consumer reach.
Know more about your customers - It is essential to understand the group of people consuming one’s products. Rather than feeding them newer versions of the same products every year, the company can aim to know their views, needs, and feedback through interviews. It highlights what the company needs to do for that set of people and marks the excluded lot. When you know about your customers, you also understand the other half of the people who are not your consumers, and you can question their needs that havent been met by your product design.
Use inclusive language- Language is the basis of sharing one’s ideas with others. Digital services are based on sharing some kind of information, and thus language is an essential part of digital products. But it is necessary to use words that are bias free and do not cause any discrimination. Easy language that everyone can understand should be used in the product’s interface as well as its manual, so that anyone can operate it and linguistics doesn't become a barrier.
Visuals need to be mindful- Visuals are as important as language, and digital products are prone to using stereotypical images and graphics. While designing any digital product, be it websites or smartphone applications, the usage of graphics that do not enhance any insecurities in users and also do not stereotype them is needed. The designers should also consider the colors and fonts used in a product as they affect inclusion. People with visual impairments like color blindness and understanding deficiencies like dyslexia should be taken into consideration.
An inclusive marketing strategy- Inclusive marketing strategy has existed in some form or the other for a long time. Brands use faces of different colors and models with varying types of body to promote their products to the masses, but it isn't sufficient. Specific communities of people are left out in the ad campaigns and most of the people included are models. Instead of this brands can use real life experiences which are authentic to promote their business. The usage of real people in their ad campaigns and real stories can influence their reach to furthermore genuine people.
Digital brands are slowly adapting to the all-inclusive character. As technology is meant for everyone and Digitals are always a part of technology, it is crucial to look into a bias-free and all-inclusive digital product. With more features to eradicate specific ability dysfunctions built into digital products, the number of users is also increasing. It is a matter of human values to include every possible person for the availability of specific user experiences. After all, “Technology can disqualify disabilities.”