It can be difficult trying to include everybody when you don’t fit into every area. It’s hard to understand what a deaf person might go through each day, for example, and so it’s also hard to create something that will appeal to them as much as it would to people who can hear. Or when some big-name television company tries to place a lesbian couple in a popular tv show, only, to mine and hoards of other people’s queer dismay, actually turns out to be targeted more at straight men than actually represent LGBT people accurately.
I can play hack-and-slash with mainstream media later though, and I will, because I deeply enjoy ranting about things, but that’s not the point right now. The truth is that it can be really, really difficult to communicate with others if we don’t first take the time to interact with them and find out what makes them tick, especially through the things we create.
That’s what inclusive design means. Tend to as many people as you can by actively listening to the things they’ll tell you. Because chances are pretty high that if you make an assumption about any kind of person, that assumption is going to be wrong and those people are going to be very upset with you.
Honestly though, it’s not that hard to go out and get the information you need and if you’re worried that the information you get might be wrong, just ask more people.
It’s not all about making sure nobody gets offended, though. Inclusive design is fundamentally necessary in order for a lot of people to survive. Take someone who is blind, for example. Many things that are designed just fine for seeing people can be difficult for someone with a disability. There are some really good examples of where inclusive design has been implemented here, including things as simple as light switches.
I think that’s possibly the most important part of all this – to just to listen to those around you, and take in what everyone tells you. Being inclusive gets easier when we remember what the point of it actually is.