7x109 REASONS WE NEED TO STOP 
DESIGNING FOR OURSELVES 
BY MEGAN KIERSTEAD 
WWW.SOCIALERGONOMICS.COM 
@MEGKIERSTEAD
A CHANGE IN MINDSET
MEGAN – UX DESIGNER 
Age: Upper 20’s 
Languages spoken: English, sarcasm 
Education: Graduate school 
Web skill: Expert/ad...
THE WORLD IS COMPLEX, 
SO STOP OVERSIMPLIFYING
DESIGN IS A BALANCE 
BETWEEN LIMITS & FREEDOM
DESIGN REQUIRES 
EMPATHY
SOCIAL ERGONOMICS: 
DESIGN TO FIT PEOPLE
EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, SO WE’RE ALL THE SAME
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 
• Motivations/goals – power user vs. novice, risk 
aversion, willingness to explore 
• Gender 
• R...
EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT GOALS
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 
• Motivations/goals 
• Gender 
• Race 
• Age 
• Physical differences 
• Socioeconomic Status 
• So...
GENDER & ORIENTATION: LIVING IN THE DARK AGES 
Why?!
Better …
Best?
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 
• Motivations/goals 
• Gender 
• Race 
• Age 
• Physical differences 
• Socioeconomic Status 
• So...
RACE IN THE UNITED STATES
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 
• Motivations/goals 
• Gender 
• Race 
• Age 
• Physical differences 
• Socioeconomic Status 
• So...
AGE IS MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 
• Motivations/goals 
• Gender 
• Race 
• Age 
• Physical differences 
• Socioeconomic Status 
• So...
BAD NEWS – YOUR ICONS ARE PROBABLY TOO SMALL
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 
• Motivations/goals 
• Gender 
• Race 
• Age 
• Physical differences 
• Socioeconomic Status 
• So...
EDUCATION != INTELLIGENCE
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 
• Motivations/goals 
• Gender 
• Race 
• Age 
• Physical differences 
• Socioeconomic Status 
• So...
CLIQUES AREN’T ONLY FOR HIGH SCHOOL
WHAT CAN I DO?
Develop Your Empathetic Brain by 
Exposing Yourself to People & Situations 
Outside Your Comfort Zone
Don’t Assume You Know the Answer… 
Iterate and Listen
Support Different Interaction Styles
THE IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE & MEANING
CULTURE SHAPES MEANING
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN COLOR MEANING 
http://visual.ly/what-colors-mean-different-cultures
EVEN IF SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS 
SOMETHING, THEY MIGHT NOT BE 
ABLE TO DISCOVER IT
LITERACY – SOME DESPRESSING NUMBERS 
http://visual.ly/understanding-illiteracy
Make Your Content 
Understandable by EVERYONE 
http://read-able.com/
WHAT CAN I DO?
Understand how content will be 
understood by different types of people
Use content that is familiar and consistent
Resist the urge to coin new terms
IMPROVING ACCESSIBILITY
DISABILITIES 
Visual Blindness, color deficiency 
Speech Stuttering, muteness 
Cognitive/Neurologica l Learning disabiliti...
NORMAL VISION
DEUTERANOPIA – ~5% MALES 
GREEN DEFICIENCY
TRITANOPIA – ~0.5% MALES 
BLUE DEFICIENCY
COLORBLINDNESS CAN DESTROY MEANING 
NORMAL VISION COLOR DEFICIENT VISION 
http://visual.ly/understanding-illiteracy
Color Oracle 
Sim Daltonism 
Color Brewer
WHAT CAN I DO?
Make accessibility an explicit part of your 
process
TECHNOLOGY ACCESS & LITERACY: 
NO, EVERYONE DOES NOT HAVE AN IPHONE
UNEQUAL INTERNET ACCESS 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/01/09/the-fastest-and-slowest-internet-speeds...
SMARTPHONES AREN’T EVERYWHERE YET
WHAT CAN I DO?
Think outside your own devices – do without
DO YOU MAKE DESIGN INCLUSIVE OR 
DIVERSE?
DESIGN IS A MORAL ENDEAVOR
DESIGN FOR EVERYONE ISN’T JUST RIGHT 
IT’S A GOOD IDEA
SOCIAL ERGONOMICS 
WWW.SOCIALERGONOMICS.COM 
MEGAN@SOCIALERGONOMICS.COM 
@MEGKIERSTEAD
Design for Everyone: 7x10^9 Reasons We Need to Stop Designing for Ourselves
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Design for Everyone: 7x10^9 Reasons We Need to Stop Designing for Ourselves

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Technology should be more inclusive. This means thinking about people as diverse, individual entities--not just statistics or marketing segments. I give an overview of the different ways of understanding people and culture, and the implications for designers and entrepreneurs.

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  • This talk is not a how to
    (Counter-)examples of how rules/how-tos breakdown
    Talk about what it means to be a mindset (vs rules, vs methodology, etc
    Not about prettiness
  • Personas are good & bad
    designing for clickthrough rate, designing for yourself (an expert),
    Dimensions of complication:
    -Different people
    -Different cultures
    -Time


  • You CAN’T PREDICT how people will use technology
    Freedom – can either allow people to express their individuality or be paralyzed/inhibited by it (e.g., Wikipedia)
    Constraints – provide guidance, but can be limiting and miss options
  • and how it should be used — NOT to exploit [the user experience])
  • About understanding how people live, so we can design to fit into their lives
    It’s important to be flexible, because people aren’t
  • -Not everyone has the same motivations, especially as you try to oversimplify across demographics
    -Some people don’t care about clicks, for example
    -Power user vs. novice
    -Tolerance for exploration and learning
  • -Gender: gender, sexual orientation, etc. are not simple – it makes analytics easier, but can alienate users
    -Assumptions about values, skills
    -Different across cultures
  • Freeform with autocomplete – makes it possible for anyone to choose what they desire
    Freedom vs. constraints – are you serving users or yourself?
  • -Tied closely to language, culture, SES
  • -Age: doesn’t just affect buying habits – affects technical proficiency, sight, hearing, memory
    -Affects what things are familiar vs. not (e.g. browsing behavior)
    -Tolerance for uncertainty and frustration

  • Physical differences: height, hand size, posture, vision, hearing
    How they hold a tablet
  • Avg width of fingertip is
    48-57 pixels
  • SES: affects learning, access to technology, your social network
  • Social network: affects learning, how you hear about things, awareness of resources
  • HEALTHCARE EXAMPLE OF SPANISH HEALTHCARE – “no one can be denied coverage”
  • HEALTHCARE EXAMPLE OF SPANISH HEALTHCARE – “no one can be denied coverage”
  • HEALTHCARE EXAMPLE OF SPANISH HEALTHCARE – “no one can be denied coverage”
  • In different cultures, things are contextualized differently, including icons, colors, words, values
    Individualism vs collectivism
    Masculinity vs femininty
  • This extends to icons, text, images, etc
    Try to provide multiple types of cues (e.g. icon and label) to remove some of the risk of ambiguity
  • Literacy, language

  • Consider meanings and use in other languages, cultures
  • HEALTHCARE EXAMPLE OF SPANISH HEALTHCARE – “no one can be denied coverage”
  • Relevant for ages
    Feel, see, hear
    Information architecture should be fantastic
    Alt tags on images, icons, etc
  • HEALTHCARE EXAMPLE OF SPANISH HEALTHCARE – “no one can be denied coverage”
  • Literacy/education are key: design for novice users doesn’t go far enough
  • Poverty: 48 live on less than $2/day
    Phones: 25 do not
    Internet: 70 cannot
    Education: 93 do not have a college degree
  • What’s App
  • HEALTHCARE EXAMPLE OF SPANISH HEALTHCARE – “no one can be denied coverage”
  • -Inclusive: standardize differences
    -Diverse: emphasize and build for different (separate but equal)
  • Designing technology is about changing people’s lives – this means you have a moral responsibility to them
  • Greater reach
  • Design for Everyone: 7x10^9 Reasons We Need to Stop Designing for Ourselves

    1. 1. 7x109 REASONS WE NEED TO STOP DESIGNING FOR OURSELVES BY MEGAN KIERSTEAD WWW.SOCIALERGONOMICS.COM @MEGKIERSTEAD
    2. 2. A CHANGE IN MINDSET
    3. 3. MEGAN – UX DESIGNER Age: Upper 20’s Languages spoken: English, sarcasm Education: Graduate school Web skill: Expert/addicted Job: Social Ergonomics Goals: spread design gospel, make the world a better place, improve technology Frustrations: lazy design, bad interfaces Tech owned: Apple laptop, iPad, Android phone, Kindle
    4. 4. THE WORLD IS COMPLEX, SO STOP OVERSIMPLIFYING
    5. 5. DESIGN IS A BALANCE BETWEEN LIMITS & FREEDOM
    6. 6. DESIGN REQUIRES EMPATHY
    7. 7. SOCIAL ERGONOMICS: DESIGN TO FIT PEOPLE
    8. 8. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, SO WE’RE ALL THE SAME
    9. 9. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES • Motivations/goals – power user vs. novice, risk aversion, willingness to explore • Gender • Race • Age • Physical differences • Socioeconomic Status • Social network
    10. 10. EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT GOALS
    11. 11. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES • Motivations/goals • Gender • Race • Age • Physical differences • Socioeconomic Status • Social network
    12. 12. GENDER & ORIENTATION: LIVING IN THE DARK AGES Why?!
    13. 13. Better …
    14. 14. Best?
    15. 15. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES • Motivations/goals • Gender • Race • Age • Physical differences • Socioeconomic Status • Social network
    16. 16. RACE IN THE UNITED STATES
    17. 17. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES • Motivations/goals • Gender • Race • Age • Physical differences • Socioeconomic Status • Social network
    18. 18. AGE IS MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER
    19. 19. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES • Motivations/goals • Gender • Race • Age • Physical differences • Socioeconomic Status • Social network
    20. 20. BAD NEWS – YOUR ICONS ARE PROBABLY TOO SMALL
    21. 21. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES • Motivations/goals • Gender • Race • Age • Physical differences • Socioeconomic Status • Social network
    22. 22. EDUCATION != INTELLIGENCE
    23. 23. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES • Motivations/goals • Gender • Race • Age • Physical differences • Socioeconomic Status • Social network – affects learning, awareness, adoption
    24. 24. CLIQUES AREN’T ONLY FOR HIGH SCHOOL
    25. 25. WHAT CAN I DO?
    26. 26. Develop Your Empathetic Brain by Exposing Yourself to People & Situations Outside Your Comfort Zone
    27. 27. Don’t Assume You Know the Answer… Iterate and Listen
    28. 28. Support Different Interaction Styles
    29. 29. THE IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE & MEANING
    30. 30. CULTURE SHAPES MEANING
    31. 31. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN COLOR MEANING http://visual.ly/what-colors-mean-different-cultures
    32. 32. EVEN IF SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS SOMETHING, THEY MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO DISCOVER IT
    33. 33. LITERACY – SOME DESPRESSING NUMBERS http://visual.ly/understanding-illiteracy
    34. 34. Make Your Content Understandable by EVERYONE http://read-able.com/
    35. 35. WHAT CAN I DO?
    36. 36. Understand how content will be understood by different types of people
    37. 37. Use content that is familiar and consistent
    38. 38. Resist the urge to coin new terms
    39. 39. IMPROVING ACCESSIBILITY
    40. 40. DISABILITIES Visual Blindness, color deficiency Speech Stuttering, muteness Cognitive/Neurologica l Learning disabilities, memory issues Physical Arthritis, amputation Auditory Deafness, hard of hearing W3C Accessibility Standards http://www.w3.org/standards/webdesign/accessibility http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/tools/complete.html Tools:
    41. 41. NORMAL VISION
    42. 42. DEUTERANOPIA – ~5% MALES GREEN DEFICIENCY
    43. 43. TRITANOPIA – ~0.5% MALES BLUE DEFICIENCY
    44. 44. COLORBLINDNESS CAN DESTROY MEANING NORMAL VISION COLOR DEFICIENT VISION http://visual.ly/understanding-illiteracy
    45. 45. Color Oracle Sim Daltonism Color Brewer
    46. 46. WHAT CAN I DO?
    47. 47. Make accessibility an explicit part of your process
    48. 48. TECHNOLOGY ACCESS & LITERACY: NO, EVERYONE DOES NOT HAVE AN IPHONE
    49. 49. UNEQUAL INTERNET ACCESS http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/01/09/the-fastest-and-slowest-internet-speeds-in-america/
    50. 50. SMARTPHONES AREN’T EVERYWHERE YET
    51. 51. WHAT CAN I DO?
    52. 52. Think outside your own devices – do without
    53. 53. DO YOU MAKE DESIGN INCLUSIVE OR DIVERSE?
    54. 54. DESIGN IS A MORAL ENDEAVOR
    55. 55. DESIGN FOR EVERYONE ISN’T JUST RIGHT IT’S A GOOD IDEA
    56. 56. SOCIAL ERGONOMICS WWW.SOCIALERGONOMICS.COM MEGAN@SOCIALERGONOMICS.COM @MEGKIERSTEAD

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