Hi, everybody. We’re so excited that you’re back with us today,
and what we want to talk about in this video is connecting some of the principles and values of inclusive design and
design justice that you’ve been reading about in the readings and connect those to the practice of co-design,
which is can can be a more, a methodology of sorts that that folks use.
We really want to put those things together,
and we thought it might be useful to do so by sharing some examples of some co-design processes that we’ve been involved with,
or that we’ve seen and use those to highlight some key principles from inclusive design and design justice.
So Dr LW is going to start us off.
And this is a project that I worked on a couple of years ago with a group of
administrators and and students and graduate students at a few different universities.
And we started out with the idea that we would create an inclusive design guide which thinking that the user or
the audience would be higher ed faculty and administrators or staff or other folks were just interested in
in maybe they were at the point of getting started with inclusive design and interested in learning more.
But as we as we started the process of brainstorming around this project, we started to ask ourselves questions around, you know, why?
Why a guide? What need, what need does that fill? You know, for for novice users who are just getting started,
is a guide the right thing that folks might need. A guide,
I think in some ways assumes that you know your starting point and that you’re then looking for a way through, you know?
But when you’re at the beginning, do you really even know what questions to ask?
Do you know what you don’t know?
And so we started playing with this idea and ended up with the, ended up moving away from a guide to the idea of an UNguide,
and that’s what this this website ends up being. If you’re interested in learning more about, you know, how we got there,
we actually wrote quite a bit about that here on the website about the inclusive design unguide.
And I mention that because that’s actually a a co-design process and inclusive design process around
working openly and being transparent about the design process itself and inviting others into that process.
So we wrote a bit about the process that I just mentioned with a little more detail
and named who is at the table and what sorts of decisions were made and why.
And so, you know, again, that idea of connecting, you know,
for the group what some of our core values around inclusive design were and connecting those
core values into the practice of inclusive design and co-design. Some of the core values.
I think that we as a group shared, and these are some some of the values that we’ve talked about before in class and are articulated
by the Inclusive Design Research Center around recognizing diversity and uniqueness,
having inclusive processes and tools and a broader beneficial impact.
So those were some of the ideas that drove us.
And so, you know, again, it’s important to reiterate that inclusive design and no matter what method you use,
co-design and or other methods and approaches for doing inclusive design and design justice, it’s a set of values, a never a checklist.
So the practices are an expression of the values. The practices are driven by the values.
But you can never sort of walk through a checklist and then claimed you have designed
something inclusively because it’s an ongoing kind of never ending practice and project.
So I think there are a few other practices that we attempted to engage with in this project and designing for flexibility,
multiple paths through the material, building in accessibility from the start and transparency in the process, which I mentioned. In terms of accessibility,
one of the things that we added is a widget that was again created by some of the
folks at the Inclusive Design Research Center at OCAD University in Canada.
And it it allows users to manipulate the interface of the website to their needs,
so it allows users to change the text style to a style that might be easier for them to read to increase
or decrease the line spacing between text to change the contrast of the background of the website.
And so again, this puts some control in the user’s hands. I’m just going to reset that back.
So. The. I think one of the other things that we wanted to, one of the other,
the values that I just mentioned in terms of multiple paths to paths, to participation.
We wanted to make sure that folks can sort of participate in the unguide.
And what the unguide ended up being is a series of provocations that we posted on this website.
And then we wanted folks to be, for example, whose community is this anyway?
Was it was our first provocation. Then we wanted folks to be able to engage in reflection and maybe some design actions around these provocations.
And so one of the things we wanted in that sense was to have multiple pathways for people
to be able to participate in in reflecting and reacting and having conversation together.
So folks, when they create a response to the provocation, they could choose to share a reflection directly through the website.
So we had a sort of a forum and repository connected to the website where folks could share their reflection.
And the reflection could be any format of video or GIF, different kinds of images, text they could sing, write, draw, whatever they wanted to do.
And then in addition, we also suggested that folks could write a blog post on their own website or write a tweet or just figure out, you know, any.
We invited, you know, write it on paper and sort of, you know, take a picture.
So we invited multiple ways for folks to participate in the conversation around the website,
and then we tried to pull those strands together by including links to different tweets and things.
So trying to sort of make this a landing place. I think one or two other things I want to mention is that one of the things that our group tried to do
during this whole process was to constantly sort of reflect on our process and constantly questioning.
So a lot of our meeting time well before we got to building building this site
was in questioning and reflecting on why are we doing this thing this way?
And so it’s interesting because I think particularly in a workplace culture where productivity and creating tangible things is highly valued,
that time for questioning and reflecting questioning and reflecting and really thinking through some of these
components was really actually refreshing and enjoyable and also had a positive impact on the end result,
I think. And I’ll stop sharing my screen here.
But in closing, one thing also that’s been challenging about this project and in the spirit of transparency is has been, in fact,
this idea of of of co-design in the sense of inviting more designers and participation from folks outside of our group of initial designers.
We really held closely the value that that we we wanted more folks to be involved.
And you know, our group of designers included folks, as I mentioned before, from different universities.
So we did have some some diversity in terms of the types of institutions, which is important.
We had folks from a large public university, community college, small private liberal arts college.
We had folks in different roles. So I mentioned we had undergrads, graduate students, we had administrators and staff.
Some of the staff also doubled as faculty, but the group is overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly global north.
And so and we all had similar, relatively similar back educational backgrounds, and attainment and so in in generating content for the unguide.
We really wanted to be very intentional to make sure that we had more voices and perspectives and experiences represented and participating.
But we ran up against the issue of how do we do that? How do we navigate questions around power dynamics and compensation, which is come up in class?
How do we expand our networks and reach out to people and invite folks into the process?
When our networks are very much like us, how do we invite people without creating extra uncompensated labor?
What is what is it even mean to invite and be welcomed into a group, right?
So these are thorny questions that I think are really interesting,
and we’ll talk through more around these questions of power as as we move forward in class.
But just to say that it’s never easy, but and it’s always, always, always an ongoing learning process for participants as well.
So, Dr. C. I’ll throw it over to you. A really good example, Dr. LW, thank you.
the example I want to point to is one that inspired our group at Middlebury
DLINQ (digital learning and inquiry) to run some events called crypto parties,
which are events that are intended to get people really taking a hands on approach to their privacy
and have some agency in that regard with their digital devices and digital lives. Those events that we offered
were inspired by another event hosted by another series of events hosted by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition.
The genesis of the the the events that the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition was
offering came from behind to the foundation of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition,
which was founded in 2009, so that that group could apply for broadband funding for particular communities that
were underserved and under had less than ideal access to appropriate internet.
And so that group formed to try to receive funding to get broadband to certain communities.
And as part of that, they recognized that they needed to work with those communities to develop the skills and
the understanding of the technology that would be kind of brought in by by broadband.
And so they started to create a kind of community oriented and community co-lead co-designed kind of event called DiscoTechs,
which is short for discovering technology.
And so these events really were about building within the community itself,
the kind of capacity the ability to lead and to learn together the ability to kind of co-design a
future where folks are using technology and they’re benefiting from it and they’re being maybe,
perhaps less harmed by it. So there’s certain communities that are incredibly harmed by technology.
They are over surveilled. Their data is treated very poorly.
And so that is, you know, the Discotechs are really trying to make sure that if we’re bringing this technology broadband into the community,
community is co-developing with us a future where that technology is not harmful to them.
And so what I what I think is really important and connects to the principles of inclusive design or inclusive
design and design justice is really the the importance of the ownership of the community of those events.
So they were co-design co-led by the community.
The outputs of which really benefited the community itself. The members of the community really took away outcomes that were beneficial to them.
And one of the things I really appreciate about it too is at the site of the co-design
process and the site of these events really was within the community itself.
And we don’t we don’t get to it in the readings you’ve done so far.
But later on in the design justice book, in a chapter called Design Sites,
Dr. Costanza-Chock really focuses on the importance of the site of design, the location of design.
So some of the readings you’re doing on co-design talk about the how and the how to bring people together.
But the design sites chapter really talks about the importance of the location of the design,
and I think that’s a really helpful principle and set of questions to ask when we think about co-design,
as well as what are the sites of our design and making sure that those sites are safe and supportive.
And part of the community with with your with whom you’re designing.
We have a colleague we were talking to once about a co-design process that she was doing in Memphis, Tennessee, with our community, a local community,
and they decided that the site of the co-design process was really going to be on the campus of the university where she was working.
And yet what she realized when she tried to start this design process was that for members of the community who lived around that campus,
the campus wasn’t a space for them. It was a space surrounded by a fence and had a gate with a guard at the front of it.
And so it really wasn’t the right site for that community to engage in co-design.
And so that I really appreciate that example because it it shows the importance of really understanding what the community is trying to do,
what they want to do, what capacity they already have and what capacity they might have in the future.
Right? Bringing broadband to that community was going to change the capacity they had.
And so really understanding that and then making sure that the sites for your design are as good are aligned with what your community needs,
are safe and supportive, and don’t introduce more possibilities of harm for the community.
All right, so that is our those are examples,
and we are going to continue to talk about co-design and dig into both the process and the ways in which the co-design
process really needs to incorporate and draw in the principles and values of inclusive design and design justice.
We’ll see you soon.