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Well, different people are different, so yes, we should treat them differently. Pretending those differences don't exist only exacerbates problems, and treating people equally doesn't mean that the outcomes are at all equal.
This little infographic is a good illustration of why it's important to be aware of people's differences:
Uh, in the third image they are being treated equally. You just proved my point. The second would be patronising if someone had stunted growth.
I didn't prove your point, because your premise that "everyone is equal" is wrong.
If you're not careful to either design equitably or remove structural barriers, you end up like the first image, which is the worst case scenario for someone with stunted growth because they're literally being prevented from doing the thing they want.
So everyone in the final image arent being treated equally then? And the final image isn't the best solution?
It is, but…
If for whatever reason you can't remove a structural barrier, then treating everyone equally gives you image number one, the worst of the three options. It's like the lack of period tracking in v1 of Apple Health — everyone was being treated equally, but the app was less useful specifically for women because of it.
You need to be aware of people's differences to remove structural structural barriers. If you don't consider people of different heights, you might think that an opaque fence is a fine solution. When has anyone ever designed something successful by specifically avoiding learning about the problem?
When has anyone ever designed something successful by specifically avoiding learning about the problem?
Good point. I think if you scope the project appropriately you'll see these issues right away though. I think we're kinda arguing about agreeing on the same thing. I didn't explain myself well enough at the start. My bad.
This image makes the assumption there are three boxes available and that this metaphor applies to the problem of equity/equality in real life — but sometimes there's only one box. In most companies you simply don't have infinite resources. You have to decide where to apply your resources and time, and that often means designing for or improving an experience for a demographic or use case.
Surely, obviously it's a good thing to strive for inclusivity and for solving for more people — but it isn't a given that it's realistic to do so. Some of the top tech companies that really do have nearly infinite resources struggle to get this right.
In areas of life that aren't design, sometimes the box problem isn't like a box at all, and for people in general the earning of a "box" as compensation for effort is a meaningful incentive to apply effort. Rewarding people disproportionately to their effort or value has consequences for business and socially that impact not just the high effort producers, not just those who employ or otherwise capitalize on the value created by those producers, but also by those receiving or being perceived to receive undue compensation. This isn't meant to sound callous, it's just the reality of human psychology and the systems that allow society to function. The foundation of society and of morals themselves is the principle of reciprocity.
Sometimes, too, the box metaphor appears more like people advocating to give some a box and saw others' legs off at the ankles. This should never be the case. The pursuit should be to lessen everyone's suffering, to ensure that everyone flourishes in our society. There are a lot of areas that could make a much bigger impact in this respect than the areas we tend to focus on. We should be pursuing systemic changes that benefit everyone in measurable ways. Of course we shouldn't ignore the unique needs of disadvantaged peoples or ignore their suffering, but we should NOT let a philosophy of compassion as the supreme virtue drive us to short-sighted, divisive thinking.
There is a difference between being compassionate in the short term, in ways that signal socially that you're a compassionate person or simply seem to be the most compassionate thing to do one causal step out vs. looking at systems holistically and thinking several steps out more pragmatically about what will be more compassionate even if the immediate action doesn't seem as compassionate. For example, giving all of your money to charity, today, would be idiot compassion. You might get a news article, everyone would say how generous you are etc. but your power to do any more good would stop there. Alternatively, you could be a productive citizen, generate greater and greater wealth by virtue of your labor and give some percentage every month of your working life, and the total given could be much greater. That means you may need to skip charity at some points to invest in yourself, in your education and wellbeing.
Anyways, I think I've said enough on this.
It's not about equal treatment when it come to making a problems solution but equality in the end goal.
It takes special treatment to make a webpage as usable to a visually impaired person as a non visually impaired person.
No shit? Thats why I said
'People with disabilities and usability issues are a whole different topic.'
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