A Playground for Inclusive Design
Inclusive Design ensures products and services are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as possible. It’s about making informed design decisions by better understanding user diversity.
As organisations continue to contemplate big questions about the future of workplaces, they must ensure that their spaces (whether physical or virtual) work for everyone.
An innovative approach to achieving successful inclusive design is currently being explored in Australia – employing a methodology that focuses on creating and modernising play spaces called ‘Inclusive Playground’.
At a recent 100% Human at Work gathering in Sydney, Manisha Amin, CEO at the Centre for Inclusive Design, shared insights from the process that can be applied to businesses when entering the world of inclusive design.
“When we think about playgrounds, they are great spaces that work for lots of different people.”
The Inclusive Playground methodology breaks down the work into three key statements: Can I get there? Can I play there? Can I stay there?
Can I get there?
When an organisation asks this question, it needs to consider how its people access the organisation’s space, products and services. Not only does it need to create something that is inclusive, but also be aware that if people can’t reach it, they’re never going to experience it.
Can I play there?
This question can be repurposed to help us think about how to design systems that are able to be used in a participatory way, ensuring creators and planners are hearing different voices.
“When we hear difference, and when we hear alternate perspectives, we de-bias our systems making us able to create and design things that are better for everyone. We are not blindsided by something we never thought of because people are too scared to say it,” said Manisha.
Can I stay there?
In a playground this is often about safety, though this need also applies to our workplaces - from both a physical and psychological perspective. People want to feel safe in this space, they want to feel included, and they want it to be fun. We need to create something that is joyous, that people will want to be part of.
The next few years will likely see big shifts in the traditional ways of working for many organisations and it will be critical to ensure that inclusion and belonging is part of the decision-making process.
Using these three simple questions as a framework for your approaches can hopefully help you put inclusive thinking at the heart of everything you do. So, for your next team meeting, why not head to the playground….
Centre for Inclusive Design is a charity and social enterprise that works to make sure the world is inclusive of everyone. Find out more https://centreforinclusivedesign.org.au/