ux thinking for an inclusive society

UX Thinking for An Inclusive Society

We live in a world of abundant information, choices and opinions.

If we reflect on our own progression as a human race, I think we become more fragmented and not necessarily better than we were, 50 years ago.

Technology has changed us. But does it change how we think?

This is what I see as an issue between user experience and society. Society is fragmented depending on demography, education, abilities/disabilities and language. We can only communicate what is best for 70-80% of the majority. Working out for the minority is a task and challenge by itself.

Instead of waiting for the singularity, as a UX Designer I will like to see a singularity in how User Experience works for everyone. Don’t we?

Sometimes, conversations in a board meeting can be quite profound.

I once had a chance to meet government servants to discuss on new directions for their app. What we presented was just a prototype, and to which they thought were a Power Point Presentation. See the difference?

Then along the meeting, a lady raised a question on, “why should we have all features in one app? and instead have different types of apps (according to features) to suit different types of people”.

To a UX Designer or Developer, putting different apps for different people is quite absurd and time consuming, and we’ll think “why would someone install that many apps on their phones? If they want it all?”

I see her point, which can be true to a degree (even though I hate to admit it) – Everyone wants a different thing. But the truth is, you can’t please everyone, at least the minority.

As a UX Designer in a multi-cultural country, the best way to tackle user experience issues is with Language or Text. It’s the primary source of communication that has to be well put, loud and clear. Second of importance, would be the structure of content and use of imagery.

I believe if we can create an inclusive application centred around these two aspects, the battle is half won. Continuous feedback has to be judged if valid and Information Architecture has to be clear cut. Starting a User Experience that has it’s foundations solid is chiefly important, even if it doesn’t look impressive. Further improvements (and enhancements) can be worked upon as users enjoy and are able to use the application more comfortably.


Tracey Wong

Digital Product Designer based in Kuala Lumpur.

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