Week 3 Readings

Accessibility vs. Inclusive Design

By Therese Fessenden

“Accessible design” and “inclusive design” are often used interchangeably. While they are related, their focuses are different. This video by Therese from the Nielsen Norman Group defines the two terms and indicates key similarities and differences between them.

Guiding Questions

  • In just a sentence or two, what are key differences between accessible and inclusive design? What are some key similarities?

  • As Therese mentioned, research and empathy are key to creating accessible and inclusive designs. What are some good research methods you learned in class to achieve more inclusive, accessible designs?

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The death of Glitch, the birth of Slack

By Johnny Rodgers

Slack, the popular workplace communication tool, was born out of an accident. Johnny Rodgers, a founding employee at Slack, notes how the company was developing a video game called Glitch which never came to fruition. In making the game, however, they created an internal chat system and he discovered an opportunity to create a useful productivity tool for companies: Slack.

Guiding Questions

  • When making designs, sometimes the main product doesn’t pan out for whatever reason, be it engineering bottlenecks, market demand, or something else. What is a good strategy to pivot, and when should you pivot what you’re making to better meet user needs?

  • Yahoo blew the lead in search and online dominance. What are some key lessons from Yahoo’s failure?

  • Slack was designed around the needs of the employees working for Glitch, but they were able to broaden the application to meet a greater audience. How can you use your own personal experiences to solve problems pressing to the communities you belong to?

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