Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

Darice de Cuba, Real talk about inclusiveness

Darice de Cuba, who recently wrote about inclusiveness in design, has now been interviewed by my former workmate at 9rules Matthew Oliphant about inclusiveness in the real world.

She writes on her blog:

The interview is very casual, we talk about real life examples and how to get people and companies to be more inclusive. The only thing missing was snacks and drinks, I truly enjoyed chatting with Matthew about these subjects.

The video interview is embedded on Darice’s web site. Go there to watch it. You can tell this was a lot of work to put together so thanks to Matthew for doing that.

Darice continues to educate me on how important this topic is and I’m trying to change how I build things as a result.

Darice de Cuba on Inclusive Design

Darice de Cuba, who is a front-end web developer that slowly lost her hearing starting at a young age:

But inclusive design is much more than structure, code and color only. Inclusive design is about the whole website as one — it’s about the complete experience of the user when they visit a website.

She related a challenge that has nothing to do with code:

I can easily make an online appointment on the municipality website for heavy trash pick up. But then I get a confirmation email from a no reply email address and the email only contains a phone number to call if something is amiss.

Then she relates how her experience is not represented even creatively on sites where it would make sense:

For example, a website that sells hearing aids. The stock images all portray older people. I was 12 years old when I got my first pair of hearing aids.

Her call-to-action:

When you are building a website, look further than structure, code, and colors. It can pass the Axe test, Lighthouse audit, and such with 100% marks, but still be frustrating to use for many visitors. The best test tools are people — a diverse group of people. Inclusive design is design. There doesn’t exist one single person who doesn’t profit from inclusive design.

She was nice enough to translate this post into English from Dutch for those of us, unlike her, are not multilingual. Thanks Darice.

To return the favor, I’m creating a ticket at work that will add an option to have the person contacted via text where ever possible/necessary throughout our platform experience.

Diversity vs. Inclusivity

Estelle Weyl:

Interviewing diverse candidates will not create a diverse environment. While the above organizations may have filled that diversity pipeline, that pipeline is full of leaks. Diversity recruiting is really only lip service. Work, school, community and conference environments need to be inclusive. Inclusivity in the sealant that prevents many pipeline leaks.

Many companies have seemingly made strides to create a more diverse environment and, of course, it started by striving to increase the number of diverse candidates that the company speaks with. But Weyl is right. That is just the beginning. Now these companies have to strive to create inclusive environments where anyone at all has a voice, is empowered, and feels like they are part of the team.