The Invisible Layer of Inclusive Design

Done well, Inclusive Design does not draw attention to itself. As much as we want our work to be noticed, the best compliment that can be paid us is to have a design go unmarked. I’m not saying there is nothing remarkable about good design, but when something works well, it feels natural and blends with the rest of the experience; it becomes invisible, seamlessly integral to the larger picture.

We’ve all had the experience of struggling with an impossible-to-open package or a doorknob that takes the flesh off a few knuckles as we pass, and wondered, “Who designed this thing”? When that same product, system, place, or moment is designed well, we are not apt to notice because there is no struggle, no interruption in our attention to the larger moment, except a feeling of ease which lets us know we are experiencing good design. And when that feeling happens for everyone who comes in contact with a design, we are experiencing the invisible layer of inclusive design.