Design and Inclusion

I love this short interview about design and inclusion with Head of Computational Design & Inclusion at Automattic, John Maeda. I like this quote especially:

Creative people are inherently inclusive because they love to learn new things. They love to be motivated, shocked, moved, be taken to a place that they aren’t used to. They’re okay being uncomfortable…with the intent of serving more people–people who aren’t like themselves.

I appreciate what he’s saying here because it’s something that I too believe about creative people. Creatives are wired toward curiosity and that often takes them to places of discomfort. But it’s not just for the sake of experiencing something new. This movement toward discomfort is an act of empathy. And it’s an understanding of a social contract that you enter as a designer: not everyone is the same and while that’s challenging for a designer to navigate, it’s also something to be celebrated.

I like this quote too. His wording and delivery are appropriately curious and playful and honest:

I’m excited that we’re all coming together as designers in tech to [ask and] understand: What is this exclusion stuff? It’s kind of icky. What is this inclusion stuff? It’s pretty hard!

Designers lean into what’s challenging about diversity and inclusion. Because it’s not only the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do.



Several years of “Design in Tech Reports”  by Maeda and his team

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