Airbnb launches inclusive design toolkit

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Monday, 7 August 2017 12:22pm

Recently, Airbnb Design launched a “toolkit” for designers built around the premise of ‘how can you design for everyone without understanding the full picture?’ It poses a set of questions to help people balance our bias, consider the opposite, and embrace a growth mindset, so as to create offerings that are inclusive and useful for most people.

Balance your bias. Consider the opposite. Embrace a growth mindset.

Balance your bias. Consider the opposite. Embrace a growth mindset.

The Airbnb toolkit is called Another Lens – a research tool for conscientious creatives, and was developed in conjunction with media startup News Deeply, and the Airbnb research team. The name of the kit itself is at the heart of why the short-term accommodation sharing business believes inclusive design is vital, as everyone has their own bias and their own lens through which they view the world.

Airbnb experience research manager Anne Diaz, who led the content development of the project, said in a statement that “it’s easy for designers to create in a bubble, to design for themselves – especially with the ease of and access to technology.”

“It’s incredibly important that we’re thinking about who we are creating for, how we want them to use it, and why they want to use it,” said Ms Diaz.

Microsoft already has a widely praised inclusive design kit and an overall design strategy focused on how designing for society’s most vulnerable among will result in better products and experiences for all which was covered in a Fast Co Design article.

Google’s accessibility practices across all platforms have focused on implementing and managing accessibility tools and operations across organisations. And industry leaders such as Kat Holmes and John Maeda have highlighted the importance of diversity and how human-centered design needs to encompass potential users of all different races, genders, and ability ranges.

Now Airbnb’s design studio, Samara, has been concentrating on Airbnb’s toolkit as well as Airbnb’s new philanthropic efforts, like its’ Open Homes platform, though which they plan to provide short-term housing over the next five years for 100,000 people in need as reported by Fast Co Design.

The company’s corporate vision of ‘doing well by going good’ is on display in both this initiative and in the creation of the new toolkit that will help their design team, along with designers and entrepreneurs everywhere, create future offerings that are more inclusive and human-centric to benefit everyone.


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