One of the most common ways to solve a design problem is to create personas based on ‘average’ users, and use a human-centred process targeted to these groups of similar users. Designers often learn to ignore anything outside of these personas, avoiding the “edge cases” that are seen as too much work to deliver business value.
In effect, intersectionality negates the average myth. Behaviour, belief, and a confluence of difference means the average is, in fact, a series of unique individuals. Therefore, designing for the average can be unintentionally alienating.
When we design for the “average,” we are designing for a blend of average characteristics that are rarely in one individual. This means that a design we intended “for everyone,” meets the needs of no one.
Making strategy, design, and information architecture decisions with intersectionality at the forefront will guide your team in identifying genuinely user-centric design requirements. Once you establish these requirements, your product or service will be able to meet the goals and expectations of your users across different circumstances, contexts, and environments, and to embrace their unique identity.
This talk will explore the challenges, opportunities, and methods of bringing intersectional thinking to your work, including reaching a broader market, reducing costs and effort by considering other interaction models by default, and reducing risk that comes from alienating parts of your market.
This session will be in the Lounge
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About the speakers
We live in an age where technology and online engagement have shifted traditional markets to become more diverse and engaged than ever.
Learning and moving faster than most organizations, evolving consumer markets typically outpace the capacity of internal teams to deliver exceptional experiences. That’s where I come in.
I work with leaders to improve technology decision-making, increase market engagement, and grow operational effectiveness.
The result: market-leading products and services that win increasingly diverse markets.
In addition to my advisory and volunteer work supporting the next generation of diverse professionals and business leaders, I am CEO at Say Yeah, a digital management consultancy that focuses on bringing inclusive design practices to public and private-sector organizations.
When I’m not working, I’m most likely DJing multi-hour-long house music mixes for my next dance party or a long run.