Our collective responsibility to design more inclusively
We spend an average of ten hours per day in front of a screen of some kind, making us beholden to the designers behind those screens. As a result, those designers are now responsible for building products that take into consideration the needs, experiences, and preferences of the widest possible group of people.
They have a responsibility to challenge the assumption that there is an “average” user, or that audiences fit neatly into a set of personas. They have a responsibility to understand and design for the needs of individuals with varying cognitive and physical abilities. In other words, designers have a responsibility to design inclusively.
As part of the design community, we too are responsible for inclusive design. More than 5 million users and 65,000 companies rely on our platform, giving us both the opportunity and the obligation to provide the resources and the motivation to design with inclusivity in mind.
For this reason, we are kicking off a series of initiatives dedicated to highlighting the individuals and organizations who are helping to advance the cause of inclusive design, and to providing our customers with the tools and best practices to create digital experiences that meet the needs of as many people as possible.
As a first step, we’re sharing the details of four grants issued by the Design Forward Fund by InVision, all of which are going to organizations that champion inclusive design:
Mismatch.design is an online community and digital magazine dedicated to advancing inclusive design. The site is a free source of insights, personal stories, and best practices that help design practitioners think and design more inclusively. Mismatch.design was founded by Kat Holmes, author of the book “Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design,” one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, and the Director of UX Design at Google.
Mismatch has been an entirely bootstrapped endeavor since its inception and InVision is thrilled to support the team in making necessary improvements to the accessibility of their site.
We are Colorblind
We are Colorblind is dedicated to making the web a better place for the colorblind. The organization aims to inform and educate about color blindness, helping anyone who creates for the web or works with color to better understand this condition and to design with those who have it in mind.
Its founder, Tom van Beveren, is a UX designer who is one of 8 percent of men who suffer from color blindness. The grant from InVision will enable him to create more content and resources, so he can ultimately turn We are Colorblind from a passion project into his full-time role.
“Designers have a responsibility to design inclusively.”
Visionary is the world’s first Internet browser specifically designed for the 3% of the population who suffer from some kind of visual impairment. Created by Gabriela Fonseca and Greg Palmieri, Visionary was inspired by struggles faced by Gabriela’s mother who suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease causing severe vision loss over time.
While individuals like Gabriela’s mother have access to screen magnifiers or text readers, they still aren’t able to see images or videos online. By changing a screen’s contrast and brightness and adapting online content, Visionary will enable those with vision loss to experience the online world the same way the rest of us do.
InVision’s grant will help them advance towards their goal of finding development partners, so that they can launch a browser prototype in 2020.
The A11Y Project
The A11Y Project is an open-source, community-driven effort to make web accessibility easier. Run by a small group of volunteers who are passionate about making the web easier to use for everyone, The A11Y Project’s site contains tips and how-tos on site accessibility, accessibility-related tests, and a curated list of upcoming events and resources on web accessibility.
They will be using the funds from InVision to do a redesign and make improvements to the site, including hiring a diversity and inclusion specialist who will assist in developing a Code of Conduct, hiring additional authors to create new content and creating specialized tools to help run the site and ensure it stays accessible.
InVision’s commitment to accessible design
We’re incredibly proud to have found four incredible organizations to help us achieve the Design Forward Fund’s mission of elevating and inspiring the entrepreneurs creating tools and resources that will power the next generation of design.
Still, we see this as just one of many initiatives that comprise our commitment towards inclusive design. In recent months, we’ve begun highlighting designers, customers, and creators in the accessible design field on our blog and social channels.
We’ve also recently held DesignTalks on multiple topics related to inclusivity, and plan to dedicate additional resources to creating content, best practices, and events that will help our community better understand and address this issue.
Lastly, we’re planning to unveil an exciting new tool that will help our customers improve the inclusivity of the products they design with InVision. We hope you’ll follow along on our journey.