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Nov 07, 2019

Practicing inclusivity in content creation

Practicing inclusivity in content creation

Design has a huge impact on how people behave and live their everyday lives. In everything from flyers to blog content to product packages, artists incorporate design to draw people in, get their attention, and make them want to take action. Can you remember the last time you looked at something that was beautifully designed? It made you want to look closer and dig deeper, didn't it?

Every business or organization uses some form of visual design. These ideas likely go through a designer before they're shared with the masses. Because of this, designers are in a unique position to think about all users while developing innovative solutions for clients.

For instance, how do personal experiences factor into design? And how does this design impact user experiences? When creating a website, someone identifying as a male might put "male" gender scroll-down options first. Whereas, a woman may be partial to designing the "female" scroll-down options first. A person who isn't colorblind may choose colors that are incomprehensible to those who are! Get the drift?

Visual design is all about removing personal biases and making things inclusive for lots of people. For example, to design for an audience of varying visual abilities:

  • Use both colors and symbols.
  • Use patterns and textures to show contrast.
  • Use a range of clearly contrasting colors and hues.

This poses a question: As creators, what is our larger role in driving positive change to reflect the world around us? If you can do this, then you've mastered the true art of visual design.

We make strides toward creating inclusive content that enables and draws on the full range of human diversity.

Research and feedback = awesome content that appeals to the masses

Doing more research can create a clearer picture of how your target audience may want you, as a creator, to present information to them.

To create content that is inclusive of all audiences:

  • Research
  • Test content
  • Listen

Then, be willing to take feedback and criticism from your market and make changes.

Words, words, words

Make sure that content is easy to read, hear, interact with, and understand. To do this:

  • Keep sentences shorter so that they’re easier to understand.
  • Use alt-tags in your images so that screen readers can describe what individuals are viewing.
  • Properly describe any links you insert into your content that identifies the purpose of the link without needing additional context.
  • Use captions and/or subtitles for any video content you upload so that users have the option to listen to text aloud.

The beauty of inclusive imagery

Visual representation is just as important. Check your stock or production selection to make sure you're representing cultural differences. By putting users/consumers first, we're able to represent all audiences.

Takeaway

Back in 2014, Facebook opened a larger conversation about supporting the LGBTQ+ community by providing more than 50 custom gender options for those who don't just identify as "male" or "female." You can see more of these cases in the work of large companies that design for a wide range of people, i.e. Microsoft and Google.

Understanding people and their diverse perspectives creates pragmatic ways to solve problems, but the key isn't to design one thing for all people. It's to create a sense of belonging for all potential users.

For example, imagine if all stories required fluency in English. We'd only hear from people who match that requirement. Subsequently, designers determine who interacts and who's left out.

You can communicate this thought process through a multitude of channels, including product design, graphic design, social media content creation, user experience and more. If you're wondering how you can appeal to a wider audience, GKA helps clients achieve the right balance while creating inclusive content.

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