‘Inclusive Design’ Defined

‘Inclusive Design’ Defined

In an interview with Fast Company, product designer, Kat Holmes, shared a most excellent way to think about ‘Inclusive Design.’


“I took a look at the words ‘inclusive’ and ‘exclusive,’ and the root of both is ‘clud.’ It’s Latin for ‘to shut.’ To shut out. Thinking of that mental model, of ingroups and outgroups, I thought maybe there’s something wrong with the mental model in our language.

In my book, I ended up writing about exclusion first, because everyone, universally, says it’s the same thing. What is exclusion? It’s when you’re left out! Exclusion became the sharp point that allowed me to talk about inclusion.

I’ve now evolved my thinking to consider exclusion as a specific way to embody inclusive design. That may be as close as we get to a definition….

The thing with inclusive design, and the nuance that doesn’t come through, is that it was always about including excluded communities in the design process–not marketing to people with disabilities.

It’s not, you’ve designed something for a female population, and therefore it’s inclusive. It’s, did you involve someone in your design process who was previously unable to participate?

How you get there is what makes it inclusive, not that it’s targeted at an underrepresented or underserved community…

Inclusive design is a process, not a result.”

~ Kat Holmes

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3 Secrets to Whatsapp’s Billion-User Success

3 Secrets to Whatsapp’s Billion-User Success

Laurent-Pierre Baculard, a digital practice lead at Bain & Company, posits that the secrets to WhatsApp’s social messaging dominance are three-fold:

#1 – The Power of Focus

WhatsApp knew what its customers wanted and stuck to it, avoiding the usual corporate temptation to do multiple things at once.

#2 – The Importance of Scalability

The business model WhatsApp has today is essentially the one it started with.

It launched a product, gathered feedback, and kept iterating as it scaled and added users.

#3 – The Primacy of Asset Building

In deciding to forgo ads, WhatsApp made a bet that the company’s value depended more on building a user base than on bogging down the business with worries about monetization.

The bet clearly paid off.

WhatsApp has a revenue model, but it is based on volume. That volume depends on utility, and utility depends on building the largest, most vibrant network possible.

Via Harvard Business Review