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The Simple Truth of Accessibility


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A presentation delivered in London, 9 October 2019 exploring how inclusive design can generate business value as it allows for natural human variance.

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The Simple Truth of Accessibility

  1. 1. @openforaccessChristine Hemphill, Open Inclusion 9 October 2019 The simple truth of accessibility Creating better digital experiences for all improves business value
  2. 2. Who am I? Christine Hemphill Founder and Managing Director, Open Inclusion Inclusive user research Human centred design and strategy Market and economic research and analysis Inclusion-led innovation Emerging technology optimist I don’t identify as disabled but have lived experience of exclusion due to disability through my family and many friends Someone who really believes in the simple truth I’ll share today
  3. 3. open.inclusion open.insights open.access open.minds open.ability open.value We provide: • User insight and engagement • Market research • Inclusion-led innovation • Inclusive design solutions • Workplace inclusion Open Inclusion is an inclusive research, design and innovation consultancy. Designing better experiences
  4. 4. Open’s essence We identify and remove hurdles or friction between customers and product or service providers so that both can achieve to the fullest of their ambitions. We do this by opening organisations to insights from consumers with specific needs. Broader insights Better experiences Genuine innovations
  5. 5. We are human!
  6. 6. Humans are awesome!
  7. 7. But even when we are on the same journey, we are all different
  8. 8. Even if we have the same genes, every human’s abilities and experiences vary. We are fabulously, endlessly diverse
  9. 9. Desigual campaign Sept 18 “Difference is what we all have in common” There is a simple and consistent truth - we are all different! Some differences are visible, most are hidden, many are variable
  10. 10. We are not even consistent ourselves. We vary today to tomorrow, in different environments, moods and over time
  11. 11. Is this human “difference” or “disability”? Disability is a mismatch between environments and users.
  12. 12. Environment + diverse human needs = enabled or disabled
  13. 13. For better or worse, the people who design the touchpoints of society determine who can participate and who’s left out. Often unwittingly”. “ Kat Holmes Ex. Microsoft Inclusive Design Current Director of User Experience Google If we create environments, we can enable ability or cause disability
  14. 14. It may seem complex, but for designing products and services it comes down to just 3 areas that mix in significantly different ways We sense differently We move differently We think and feel differently Sight Neuro- diverse DexterityHearing Health, mental health and event-based vulnerabilities Mobility
  15. 15. “Disabled” “Impaired” Age related needs Temporary / situational We all have varying physical and cognitive abilities We identify differently to our access needs Do you identify as disabled? Do you have permanent access needs? Or haven’t you quite found your’s yet? 1 in 5 1 in 3 All Permanent Today Tomorrow
  16. 16. The market value of those with permanent access needs is huge, and growing as society ages. Let alone the broader market that benefits 15% Of discretionary spend in the UK and growing as the population ages £265b =
  17. 17. What you see isn’t what you get Of people with a disability, 3 out of 4 are invisible
  18. 18. 10% of £23.50 To do 1/ ? Walk for MS Words Co-ordination Speech What you see isn’t what you get Of people with a disability, 3 out of 4 are invisible
  19. 19. Needs Needs vary – even for the same need (e.g. vision) People’s adaptation approaches and identity vary also Adaptation Identity “Blind” “Just getting older”“Vision impaired” Chooses not to share“Disabled”
  20. 20. We are not single “categories” to be solved. We are human. With diverse sets of abilities, adaptation approaches and identities
  21. 21. A simple truth. An inconvenient truth. An uncomfortable truth. Inclusion isn’t about “them”. It’s designing for our humanity. Inclusive designs support our variance, today, tomorrow and in the future.
  22. 22. Inclusion vs Accessibility
  23. 23. Inclusion supports all our needs But accessibility provides a base Legally businesses are obliged to provide accessible products and services • EA Act 2010, UK (all businesses) • EU Directive 2016/2102 (public sector) • Public Sector Accessibility Regulations 2018 More is expected to come • FCA Customer Vulnerability Paper #8 • WCAG guidelines future changes (Silver)
  24. 24. Inclusion User experience Depends on each individual Accessibility Technical compliance More objective
  25. 25. InclusiveAccessible
  26. 26. This one fails on every level – yet still ticks compliance boxes
  27. 27. Accessibility improves the resilience of products today Inclusion extends resilience and deepens relevance & reach Resilience Durability over time and situation to users’ needs, expectations, regulatory, technical or demographic changes. Reach Relevance Accessibility protects today’s value and inclusion extends today’s and grows tomorrow’s Attractive to a broader customer and talent base. Supports increased loyalty and positive advocacy Catalyse genuine innovation retaining relevance in fast moving markets. Staff and customer value alignment and engagement
  28. 28. All good, but how do we make our digital products more inclusive?
  29. 29. 1. Assess the current customer experience 2. Improve individual elements needing attention 3. Embed inclusion into your business’ DNA It is an ongoing waltz. 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3 … that keeps playing Inclusive by design: This all sounds good… but how do I do this?
  30. 30. 1. Assess the customer experience of your brand today Customers experience the brand through a range of formats Physical environments and products Digital environments and products Customer service Brand and marketing
  31. 31. How to assess a live product 1. Complaints and other positive or negative feedback 2. Automated test (approx. 25% of the code is testable) 3. Expert accessibility audit to check against standards 4. Usability testing with authentic, diverse customers 1. 2. 3. 4.
  32. 32. For usability testing, test with genuine disabled users vs expert users with or without a disability
  33. 33. It’s not what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know that just ain’t so. Mark Twain “ Learning or unlearning
  34. 34. Variation in cognitive approach • Learning • Memory • Social interaction / attention • Mental health / anxiety Variation in use • Needs and preferences • Senses utilized • Physical interaction • Motivations and attitudes • Relevant constraints SWIM to success (Someone Who Isn’t Me)
  35. 35. The Open Research Panel (+450) – our unfair advantage Physical Mobility Manual dexterity Balance Speech impediment Limb loss / loss of function Sensory Blind Partially sighted Colour blind Deaf/deaf Hard of hearing DeafBlind Neurodiversity Mental health Dyslexia/dyspraxia Learning difficulties Cognitively diverse Autism spectrum Language difficulties Other Just older No smell/taste Under 4'11” Over 6’ 3” Major health challenges Complex conditions Chronic pain Demographics Ages: 18 - 85 Ethnicity Socio-economic Sexual identity
  36. 36. Testing today’s digital environment - user needs’ based Interactions Visual design & media Personalisation and AT support User assistance Simplicity
  37. 37. 5. Build • Staged, modular or agile • Measure • Learn • Feed into future design cycles 4. Test • Journey based • Functional • Sufficient range of users • Specifically include extreme users 3. Prototype • Low fidelity • High fidelity • Modular • Co-create • Testable 2. Design • Create guidelines • User-centred process • Co-design • Design accessibility, usability & delight • Get creative 1. Ask and learn • A broad range of target users • Extreme users • Contextual needs • Create a reference group, personas & other design aids 1. Ask and learn 2. Design 3. Prototype 4. Test 5. Build 2. Improve the elements that need attention Creating better experiences, that are inclusive from the start
  38. 38. 3. Embed inclusive capability into the DNA of the business Capability that extends beyond individual environments or periods It also requires good leadership and measurement that assess and expose both input elements and outcomes Customer experience Delivering consistent customer experience requires aligned policy, people & practices
  39. 39. Build inclusion into your process not just products to create a sustainable competitive advantage Likely challenger Sustainable advantage Advantage is at risk Competitive disadvantage Inclusionembedded intheprocess Inclusion embedded in the product
  40. 40. The power of inclusive design • More consistent customer experience • Greater, more sustainable revenues • Lower average cost to serve • Faster, more profound innovation • Products that are more durable to changing customer needs /preferences • Easier access to quality resources • Reduced business risks
  41. 41. When we design for disability first, we often stumble upon solutions that are not only inclusive, but also are often better than when we design for the norm. Let people with disabilities help you look sideways, and in the process, solve some of the greatest problems. Elise Roy US Attorney and inclusive design advocate “
  42. 42. Better understanding better solutions better for all Inclusive insight Listening / learning Human-centred design Universal / adaptive Broaden the value Innovate / embed Open Inclusion’s services We are proud to be expert partners of
  43. 43. better experiences for all Thank you for your time! 07478 335 028