This past July the Ladies that UX headed to Buffalo Wild Wings for a summer social-focused on paying it forward! We discussed ways we can help make a social change through design and usability decisions. We covered some topics on how you can make your pieces inclusive and community centered.
Design with Empathy
The first step to good and empathetic design and UX is to step back and evaluate the work you do now as part of your regular design or UX career.
Ask yourself the following questions to see what kind of influence you’re having in your work
- Have I established a code of conduct for my work? Have I established any morals I will not step down on?
- Am I against conveying or perpetuating any hurtful messages?
- Have I been inclusive in my work? Do I make sure my work is representative of a large set of experiences?
- Have I made my work accessible? Will anybody who needs to experience the work I do be able to access it?
- Do I make the small choices that are needed every day to put good messages into the world?
If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s totally ok. It’s so easy to fall into a daily work routine. This meetup was an introduction to start making choices that can have a positive impact.
Make a code of conduct
Now that you know your current state of influence you’re having in the work you create, it’s time to make some rules. To reinforce to practice what you preach, make a code of conduct to abide by so you don’t break your own rules.
Some example statements can include:
- I won’t do work for corporations that perpetuate messages or ideas I don’t believe in
- I’m going to make my work inclusive and accessible
- I’m going to challenge harmful design decisions and dark UX patterns. I will try to offer better solutions that meet the needs of my clients and users.
- I’m going to represent a diverse group of people and experiences in my designs
Find a cause you’re passionate about and offer your time to use your specialized skills! Some ideas include:
- Make Posters
- Make social media assets
- Help them with their website
- Use your skills to help them put their message out there and get heard.
*Be careful with free work. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. Make sure you’re comfortable with volunteering your time and that the cause deserves it in your heart.
Random acts of UX
If you find barriers to entry on a user experience and know it will make the difference between someone being able to access the resource or not, call it out.
- Companies may not be aware they are presenting a difficult experience or excluding users.
- You have the skills to catch that stuff and make the world more usable. It’s a gift, share it.
- You’re not doing it to help these companies or give them free labor. You’re doing it so everyone can have a comfortable experience on the internet.
About Ladies that UX
We’re a friendly and informal group of designers, developers, and marketers that aims to foster an atmosphere of learning, mentorship, and support. If you are looking to break into the UX industry, develop your career, collaborate on a project or just interested in what UX is all about, we can help! We are women-focused but not women-only, everyone is welcome!
If you’d like to attend our next meetup, head over to https://www.meetup.com/Ladies-that-UX-London-Ontario/