Inclusive design is a term that has gained currency in recent times.
It refers to a thought process that aims at creating not just products and services but also environments that can be accessed and used by as many people as possible. The inclusive design appears similar to accessibility but in reality, it is much more than providing accessibility to people with different kinds of abilities.
We are living in a world with not just an increasing percentage of the aging population having various impairments but also men and women suffering from all kinds of disabilities. In a world more and more reliant on digital devices for connectivity, inclusive design is the only way forward. In this article, we will discuss 6 reasons why inclusive design is the way of the future.
What Exactly is Meant by Inclusive Design?
Inclusive design should not be mistaken for the designing of websites though it applies to web designers as well. As more and more products and services move online, inclusive design makes sure that the products and services of a company can be easily used by people of all ages and people with different kinds of abilities.
1. You will Lag Behind Your Rivals
Most of the big brands are already present online. Organizations that will not embrace the concept of inclusive design in their products and services will lag behind their competitors because they will struggle to reach out to users with impairments. On the other hand, companies that are using inclusive design in their products and services allow as many people as possible to access and use them. These companies will get the highest approval ratings from their end-users. In the end, the world will be divided between organizations following the concept of inclusive design and those who will be left behind.
2. Inclusive Design Helps in Increasing your Market Share
Till now, you have heard experts saying you need to focus upon your target group of customers. But the principle of inclusive design says no to exclusion. In a world of more than 7 billion people, nearly a billion suffer from one or the other kind of impairments. By making use of the inclusive design in your products, you make sure no one is excluded and your market share is therefore increased. If something helps you in increasing your sales and profits, it is natural that you will adopt the concept or idea into your business. Inclusive design is good for all kinds of businesses, and this is a big reason why it is going to be the way forward.
3. It is a Win-Win Situation for Everyone
Inclusive design aims to cater to people of age groups, genders, and abilities. It creates a feeling of belonging and not the feeling of exclusion. It is alright to erect escalators in railway stations and airports for people with disabilities but it is more for the reason of accessibility than inclusive design. When designers focus on inclusive design, they create products and services that can be used by as many people as possible without making any changes in the user interface. This is a win-win situation for the business owners as well as end-users as there is no discrimination against anyone. Changing Places toilet specialists aim to create products and environs that are accessible to all. The basic premise here is to make everyone feel at home rather than making them feel special because of their different abilities.
4. Inclusive Design Reduces Number of Lawsuits
Businesses worldwide are losing more through claims and compensations these days than anything else. These lawsuits are giving sleepless nights to business owners who are fed up with bearing the cost of litigation and paying huge sums of money to their customers. These lawsuits are fouled by disgruntled customers who are unable to either use the products or service or those who suffer from losses by using these products and services. When companies utilize inclusive design for the development of their products and services, there are very few chances of these lawsuits and thus no losses for these businesses. To avoid paying damages to their customers, more and more companies will pay a little extra to their designers to adapt to inclusive design.
5. Myths Surrounding Inclusive Design are Getting Busted
For a long time, the thinking of the business owners was molded to stop wastage of their time, effort, and money on catering to the needs of all customers. They were advised by these experts to focus upon their target group of customers to get a higher return on investment. This line of thinking got a boost because of the myths surrounding the concept of inclusive design. Some of these myths that have been busted in recent times are as follows.
- Design accessible to all is dull
- Inclusive design is expensive to execute
- The extra cost is not justified as it caters only to a small minority of the population
As these myths have been busted, it is only natural for organizations around the world to move in the direction of inclusive design.
6. It is the Only Way Forward
Inclusive design is the right thing to do as it benefits all and harms no one. Inclusion for all and exclusion of none is a universally accepted principle that is not just good but also appears to be doing justice to the maximum numbers of individuals in the population. Yes, it requires a little bit extra effort from the designers and extra expenditure on the part of the manufacturers. But the idea of inclusive design goes a long way in meeting the expectations of the consumers.
Whether you are a business owner or the end consumer, the concept of inclusive design touches the lives of the vast majority of the population. You can move ahead with your target group of customers for a while but you will realize that there is no other way forward than inclusive design. The inclusive design will help in increasing your sales and also get you high approval ratings from your customers.