July 25-27, 2018 / Vancouver, BC

Mismatch: How inclusion shapes design, technology, and society

Sometimes designed objects reject their users

Kat Holmes

Sometimes designed objects reject their users: a computer mouse that doesn’t work for left-handed people, for example, or a touchscreen payment system that only works for people who read English phrases, have 20/20 vision, and use a credit card. Something as simple as color choices can render a product unusable for millions. These mismatches are the building blocks of exclusion. Holmes will share themes from her new book, Mismatch (Sept 2018 ,MIT Press), and the ways that design can lead to, and remedy, exclusion.  Inclusive design methods—designing objects with, rather than for excluded users—can be a source of innovation and growth, and lead to elegant solutions that benefit everyone.