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The New Rules of Product Design Start with Empathy and Inclusion

Product inclusion means to ensure equitable product experiences. It’s about factoring empathy into the invention and design process by engaging with the spectrum of potential users. My job is to bridge the gap between the product teams creating and the users across the world who look, think, and act differently from them. For our products to be helpful for all, we must build with those underrepresented users in order to understand and meet their needs. As a Haitian-American, left-handed woman, I’ve experienced when a product was not designed with me in mind. I’ve used social media filters that automatically lighten my skin tone, and I’ve held products that felt uncomfortable because they were made for right-handed people. I’ve experienced trying to take a photo and having members of my family not show up and had speech recognition services not understand the accents of my friends. Those design flaws were not intended, but they show how a siloed creation process leaves certain groups...