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IBX Insights

Inclusive Design Benefits Everyone

By July 21, 2023Innovation
A group of people have a meeting in an office around a conference table.

As part of Rihanna’s 2023 half-time performance at the Big Game, Justina Miles took the stage as the American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. A Philadelphia native who is also deaf, Miles provided an incredible example of inclusive design for the millions who were watching the show. She didn’t just sign the words to Rihanna’s songs, she performed them. While signing, she also danced along with a graceful energy that transcended language and brought beat, melody, and harmony to life. Her performance immediately went viral, captivating people around the world. It showed how inclusive design can be fun, creative, and a positive experience for everyone. But there’s so much more to it.

What Is Inclusive Design

The goal of inclusive design is to deliberately create experiences that are useful for people of all ages, genders, races, cultures, and abilities.

Why Is Inclusive Design Important?

Developing an inclusive mindset is valuable for many reasons:

  • Everyone can benefit from inclusive design. While it is primarily focused on improving an experience for members of certain groups, inclusive design can benefit everyone. For example, sidewalk curb cuts were originally designed for people in wheelchairs. But they are also helpful for kids riding scooters, people pushing baby strollers, or travelers pulling luggage with wheels.
  • Inclusive design can produce positive business outcomes. When companies design products and services that are accessible to the broadest possible audience, they can tap into new markets and improve overall customer satisfaction.
  • Inclusive design can be fun. Inclusive design often sparks creativity, which results in more innovative, interesting solutions.
  • Inclusive design is not just a trend. As our society becomes more diverse, inclusive design is becoming increasingly important; it’s vital to design for the future, not just the present.

Our Approach to Inclusive Design

Independence Blue Cross (Independence) designs products, services, and experiences that can benefit a wide range of customers. This includes everything from initial contact with the company through our website or advertisements, to the purchase of our products or services, to customer support.

Three important facets of Independence’s approach to customer-centered inclusive design are:

  • Understanding our diverse customer base: Independence dedicates resources to research, surveys, and user testing. We know who our customers are, what they want, and what they need.
  • Maintaining diversity throughout the design process: Independence embraces diversity in all stages of the creative process, with contributors of different races, ages, genders, cultures, abilities, and identities.
  • Evaluating the process: Customer needs and expectations are constantly changing. Independence uses customer feedback to upgrade our products, services, and experiences.

Remember that inclusive design is an ongoing process. It requires continuous learning, iteration, refinement, and collaboration with diverse stakeholders.

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Lori Radford

Working more than a decade alongside executives at the C-suite level, Lori managed client-centric needs, facilitated all aspects of internal and external communications, aligned business objectives with comprehensive knowledge to achieve maximum operational impact, created ideas and turned them into working solutions despite resource constraints associated with a support role. Advancing through a series of four promotions has led Lori to her current role as an innovation consultant where she is currently responsible for project management and facilitation, instructing groups on design thinking methods and practices to enhance understanding and practical application through workshops, innovation sessions, and conducting and synthesizing design research.