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Empathy, Education and Excellence in Inclusive Design


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How can we engage more effectively with inclusive design as a way to enhance user experience for everyone, including people with disabilities? Presented by David Sloan and Sarah Horton at UX Lausanne, June 4th 2015.

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Empathy, Education and Excellence in Inclusive Design

  1. 1. Empathy, Education and Excellence in Inclusive Design David Sloan, UX Research Lead, @sloandr Sarah Horton, UX Strategy Lead, @gradualclearing
  2. 2. Perceptions around accessibility influence empathy
  3. 3. Introduction: Accessibility and disability, to a teenager…
  4. 4. Empathy: People are people Photo credit: Valerie Fletcher, Institute for Human Centered Design
  5. 5. A (Rough) Manifesto for Accessible User Experience
  6. 6. Digital resources can reduce social and economic exclusion; without deliberate attention, they will increase exclusion
  7. 7. People’s capabilities and preferences are unique and variable; environmental factors influence accessibility needs
  8. 8. Bell Curve
  9. 9. By concentrating solely on the bulge at the center of the bell curve we are more likely to confirm what we already know than learn something new and surprising. Tim Brown, Change By Design
  10. 10. Empathy: Understanding the impact • Diversity: People and technology • Commonality: People are people • Accessible UX: Design meets disability
  11. 11. Education: Building accessibility knowledge and skills
  12. 12. Learning from standards remediation
  13. 13. Learning how to apply standards to specific interactions Error message not announced by screen readers Form labels not programmatically associated with inputs
  14. 14. Learning accessible design patterns
  15. 15. Principles of Universal Design • Equitable Use • Flexibility in Use • Simple and Intuitive Use • Perceptible Information • Tolerance for Error • Low Physical Effort • Size and Space for Approach and Use North Carolina State University,
  16. 16. Accessibility barriers
  17. 17. Accessibility features that are not needed
  18. 18. Building empathy through understanding
  19. 19. Education: Knowing what’s needed • Accessibility: Specifications • Design: Principles and guidelines • User Research: Real-world perspectives
  20. 20. Excellence: Solving problems, not designing new ones Photo credit: Tom Magliery
  21. 21. Accessibility is a creative challenge, not a challenge to creativity
  22. 22. Accessible Design Maturity Continuum
  23. 23. An Accessible Design Maturity Continuum
  24. 24. Case Study: MBTA user research
  25. 25. Details • 9 people over 2 days • Sessions lasting ½ to 1 hour • Low vision: Large monitor, ZoomText, large type, high-contrast mode • Blind: JAWS, VoiceOver • Deaf: Captions • Limited mobility and dexterity: Dragon
  26. 26. The right column is a bad location for critical information
  27. 27. Online information should match what’s available in print
  28. 28. Boston South Station lobby
  29. 29. Excellence: Designing for pleasure • Creativity: Using accessibility as a driver for innovation • Maturity: Integrating accessibility into culture and practice • Inclusivity: Caretaking the whole experience
  30. 30. Empathy: Understanding the value Education: Knowing what’s needed Excellence: Designing for pleasure
  31. 31. Thank you! @sloandr @gradualclearing