Design Justice and user research + UX/interface design

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Design Justice and user research + UX/interface design

Examples of where UX or interface has been a barrier for the communities who needed access to info or service?

Ex 1: Makers of digital hardware much like an Apple iPhone miss or overlook certain features important to folks in harsher environs. Makes me ask whether designers actually tried using these device in the wild, eg. Detroit winters or Baltimore summers. Ex. Screen says phone is too hot, turns off. No screen that says phone is too cold, shuts down. Thoughts around accessibility or ensuring customer safety thru better UX design leadership.

Ex2: Working with OpenStreetMaps, "anyone can edit?" when a majority of people don't have phones and in some places even literacy is an issue. Decisions are based these maps, housing and services, and if you can't access the map you don't exist. It seems many orgs don't have capacity to consider those issues.

Ex3: E-immigrate developed by another non profit agency. Helps organize large scale events like citizenship day. Tech fails at basic step of literacy, immigrant communities 45 years and up sometimes don't know basic web navigation. People keen on using their phones so now we deliver messages via SMS text. In our testing, they were unable to find browser on their smart phones, they just use text and Whatsapp. So we solved by sending URL hat they can click and automatically opens browser.

Ex4: in journalism problem is writing about people and not for people. At Marshall project we try to make sure for example stories about immigration are in Spanish and other languages. Important to make sure what you are producing is actually accessible to the community it is for.

Ex5: People with income disrupted due to pandemic, a lot of evictions because of this, rent relief program info is in English. Working with communities who speak Spanish and other indigenous languages. How do we open information for them? How do you serve a large group of people whose commonality is not hegemony?

ex6: Need better practices around accessibility. It is struggle working with designers who don't consider that from the beginning.

ex7: client wanted to appear in first page search results. product named 'jimmy' :O It was a wallet. I had to try using it to understand the product. It fell apart.

ex8: Not everyone who wants a website needs a website. need to really dig in and help people identify goal and mission and problem they are trying to solve. Creating user personas to imagine how people would use website.

Are there things in UX design we should avoid?

  • Dark patterns?
  • We need to be conscious of the unintended consequences of the things we design. You might inadvertently affect people who are not your target audience. It can sometimes be hard to get that feedback.

Examples of where you've seen Design process work or be effective?

Using graphic design, pop culture to do popular education, incorporating Tiktok videos, social media to share information about rent relief.

The most successful projects we have had is when the people the output is for are included from the very beginning. Also you need to take into consideration capacity. So people don't have time to sit down with designers and do follow up. So need to be very clear with people up front how much time they need to dedicate to process. make sure they have the availability before you begin.

Relationship building is really hard. Childcare, meals (for the whole family if necessary). Need to create enough options in agenda so people can participate. Take good notes. Provide summaries of a few bullet points instead of pages of notes. Try to involve people who already have good relationship with the community you want participation from.

Maintaining a conversation with people over the life of the project and constantly iterating, this can be a struggle if there isn't capacity long term. another strategy is to hand off to another organization or community that can take it over and empowering them to do so.

Paying organizations to do community mapping much more effective than paying consultants.

Funding things like face to face organizing and translations are more important.

Please stop making new software and support your old software better.

Recognizing the high value of people's lived experiences. Overturning the idea of expertise. People who are affected by the system are also experts. We should take direction from them.