• Jake Lazaroff, over 4 years ago

    I think a lot of inclusivity comes down to challenging your preconceived notions about people's preferences, experiences, abilities and choices. A lot of times people leave features out of a product because it doesn't apply to then personally, or it doesn't occur to them that a norm might not apply to everyone.

    Sometimes it's as simple as realizing your depictions of people leave large groups out. The PC game Rust was at the center of controversy for randomizing players' race and sex without the option to change it. A lot of white players didn't want to be forced to have black avatars. I wonder how people of color felt when they were forced to use white emoji!

    Another classic example: no mensuration tracking in v1 of Apple Health. As of last August, period tracking apps have been downloaded over 200 million times. Would this have happened had Apple had more engineers who have periods?

    Health is an especially dense quagmire, but as someone pointed out before, accessibility is an important part of inclusivity that goes beyond race and gender. Are you sure the person who's using your app can see? What if they have dyslexia? It's great that we're trying to be exclusive in new ways, but let's not forget lessons we've already learned.

    Ultimately, I think inclusivity is really an issue of empathy. If you can put yourself in your users' shoes — different users, not just able-bodied white men — you'll do fine.

    3 points