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Whilst it can be easy and tempting to build solutions based upon our own needs and experiences, if you are designing solutions which will impact other people (specific customers, colleagues or the general public), it is imperative to consider the needs of different users so that you do not unintentionally exclude anyone.
Inclusive design begins with curiosity; thinking proactively about how others may experience or use a product or service based on their ability or way of working.
Some example high level considerations:
Inclusive design affects the way we approach project design, how we develop the design process and the tangible end result.
Inclusive design is key to accessible design but in reality a business will benefit from designing products and services to be inclusive for all customers, and there are lots of great examples of how inclusive design can benefit everyone:
One Page A3 Inclusive Design Principles PDF† (543KB) (Opens in a new window)
Individual Posters A4 Inclusive Design Principles PDF† (2MB) (Opens in a new window)
We've created ways to help our colleagues understand and deliver inclusive design, from initial project design, throughout implementation and into customer service. This ensures we are embedding our vision into the heart of our operations.
Arsenal FC - Case Study
“Arsenal formed a disabled supporters working group to help shape and inform their decisions and improve facilities for those with disabilities”
Alun Francis, Disability Liaison Officer,
Arsenal Football Club
|What Inclusive Design is||What Inclusive Design is not|
|Considering and including all users at the start of a project||Making assumptions i.e. that everyone wants to be treated the same|
|Making conscious, informed decisions||Just about physical impairments that we can see or hear; impairments are often invisible (e.g. learning difficulties)|
|Using subject matter experts and consultants to help shape the project design at the outset||About disability; it is about discrimination. All customers have the right to access services in a fair and equal way|
|User test ‘the product’ with different people in a safe environment. Plan this research into projects and ensure feedback is acted upon||A numbers game. Complaints are not a true view of how our customers feel; some ‘walk away’ without telling us how they feel|
|Robustly documenting all design decisions made throughout the project, including any external access consultant recommendations||Too expensive. Often inclusive design costs little to implement yet brings real value|
|Having the confidence to advertise products and services as inclusive||Time intensive. This shouldn’t be a defence – the right input at the start and throughout will save time in retro-fitting solutions or solving complaints|
|Attitudinal as well as physical – the way we deliver our services needs to be as inclusive and accessible as the way we design our products|
We use our Diverse Personas guides to help people designing products and services understand the needs of customers with disabilities. They have been designed to provide an insight into how people with disabilities might interact differently with products and services and are created in consultation with accessibility experts and people with disabilities. We find these personas help us to think about the impact on wider audiences, and how to create better products and services for everyone.
These personas are a starting point; each representative persona – as with our customers – could have additional preferences not described in their story here; we try never to forget that every set of human circumstances is unique, so that we move on from ‘one size fits all’ solutions.
Watch the suite of videos on accessibility perspectives and assistive technologies in action^ (opens in a new window). The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative state that accessibility is essential for some people and useful for everyone.
As part of our commitment to being inclusive we have developed guidelines that we strive to follow internally but also now ask our third party suppliers to comply with to ensure accessibility in the services we offer. Any accessible system must be Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust (POUR).
Implementing the POUR principles places our customers, colleagues, and clients, at the centre of what we create. Accessibility is much more than the application of technical requirements; it is all about the people.
Read the Guiding Principles PDF† (137KB) (opens in a new window)
Read our Principles of Accessibility infographic PDF† (189KB) (opens in a new window)
Whether we build new products and services through projects or buy them through suppliers, it’s important that we share an inclusive design mind-set and formally consider accessibility requirements. We do this by making publicly available our accessibility standards on our supplier site (opens in a new window) along with useful resources such as our principles and diverse personas. We explicitly ask and evaluate accessibility within new supplier selection decisions. This helps to embed accessibility into everything we change and build as well as informing and encouraging suppliers on its importance.
We have benefited from expert external support in building our knowledge and experience we want to share these resources so that other businesses may benefit from the work we’ve done to embed accessibility and inclusive design at Barclays:
Here are some case studies of best practice from our own business and other organisations who are endeavouring to make their business accessible for all and have embraced inclusive design:
Read about how Barclays Mobile Banking app achieved the Kite Mark for accessibility from AbilityNet PDF† (316KB) (opens in a new window)
Read how Wincor Nixdorf incorporated an ‘everyone can use it’ ideology into their design process PDF† (325KB) (opens in a new window)
Read about the disabled supporters club who have helped to shape Arsenal Football Club’s Accessible premises PDF† (354KB) (opens in a new window)
Attracting, supporting and developing a diverse workforce.
Inclusive customer service
We have created various support tools to help understand the needs of customers with different disabilities.
Collaboration and knowledge-sharing
Great things can happen when you work together with like-minded individuals and organisations.
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