What the Heck Is Inclusive Design?


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Alan Dalton

Good article, Heydon. I particularly like how you define “inclusive design” as “designing things for people who aren’t you, in your situation”. The name “inclusive design” reminds designers and developers of the constant risk of excluding people.

Taylor Hunt

No one benefits from low contrast; everyone benefits from high contrast.

I did run into an issue where a dyslexic user found high-contrast harder to read, but the most we could do there was adding hooks for lower-contrast user styles. Frustrating, though. This is apparently an old issue, but I wasn’t sure what the best way of handling it was.

Andrei Dacko

Well put Hayden. A fantastic and spot-on overview of inclusive design. Your article would serve as a beautiful complement to the work going at my alma mater OCADU and their Master of Design in Inclusive Design program as well as their Inclusive Design Research Centre.

Gunnar Bittersmann

Great article on inclusive design. What I did expect from you, Heydon. ;-)

A sidenote on what I did not expect: “Naming things is hard. […] CSS class names”

There’s no such thing as ‘CSS classes’—at least there shouldn’t be. Classes are a construct in HTML to further describe the content when element types are not enough. Classes have nothing to do with styling in the first place.

HTML classes can later be used for styling, of course.

When you say “CSS classes” you mean classes solely for the purpose of styling, i.e. you mean inline styles, you mean presentational markup.

Yes, naming things is hard. Please don’t use the term “CSS classes” when you’re on the light side of separation of concerns.

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