Creating Inclusive Products: Overcoming Bias in Design

By understanding these biases, designers can strive to create more inclusive and equitable products.

Intro

In the world of product design, it is crucial to be aware of the different types of bias that influence the design process. Bias inadvertently leads to unfair, exclusionary, or discriminatory products. By understanding these biases, designers can strive to create more inclusive and equitable products. This article will explore five common types of bias in product design and discuss strategies to mitigate their impact.

1. Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias occurs when designers seek information confirming their preconceived notions or hypotheses while disregarding contradictory evidence. This bias leads to a narrow perspective and limits the exploration of alternative design solutions. To overcome confirmation bias, designers should actively seek diverse perspectives and challenge their assumptions throughout the design process.

2. Availability Bias

Availability bias refers to the tendency to rely on readily available information when making decisions. Designers may unintentionally prioritize specific user needs or preferences based on the information that is most easily accessible to them. To mitigate availability bias, designers should conduct thorough user research and gather a wide range of data to inform their decision-making process.

3. Cultural Bias

Cultural bias occurs when designers unintentionally prioritize the needs and preferences of a specific culture or group of people. This bias results in products that need to be more inclusive and relevant to diverse user populations. To address cultural bias, designers should engage with users from different cultural backgrounds and strive to understand their unique perspectives and needs.

4. Gender Bias

Gender bias occurs when designers create products that cater to stereotypical gender dynamics or exclude certain genders altogether. This bias perpetuates societal inequalities and limits the accessibility of products. To avoid gender bias, designers should adopt a gender-inclusive approach, considering all needs and preferences.

5. Accessibility Bias

Accessibility bias refers to the tendency to overlook the needs of users with disabilities or impairments. Designers may unintentionally create products that are inaccessible or difficult to use for individuals with different abilities. To address accessibility bias, designers should prioritize inclusive design principles, such as providing alternative text for images, ensuring keyboard navigation, and considering the needs of users with various disabilities.

Wrapping up

Product designers create more inclusive products by understanding and actively addressing these types of biases. It is essential to approach design with empathy, diversity, and inclusivity. Doing so ensures that our products serve all users, regardless of their background, abilities, or preferences.

Remember, design is a powerful tool, and with that power comes the responsibility to create products that positively impact society as a whole. Let's strive to design with intention, empathy, and a commitment to addressing bias in product design.

Not your average designer.

With over two decades of experience, I’ve not just designed products — I’ve generated record-high revenue for clients with designs that have reached millions of people.

My professional journey includes founding a 30-person design agency, creating and launching my own products, mentoring other designers, and having a long list of satisfied clients worldwide.

"Design isn't just a profession — it's my purpose-driven passion"

What I’ve done.

A few of my favorite projects from recent years.

“If you’re building a product, you must work with Tim.
We’re going to work with him on all our products.”

Mike Greene, CPO at SPL