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Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design

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How inclusive methods can build elegant design solutions that work for all. Sometimes designed objects reject their users: a computer mouse that doesn't work for left-handed people, for example, or a touchscreen payment system that only works for people who read English phrases, have 20/20 vision, and use a credit card. Something as simple as color choices can render a product unusable for millions. These mismatches are the building blocks of exclusion. In Mismatch, Kat Holmes describes how design can lead to exclusion, and how design can also remedy exclusion. Inclusive design methods--designing objects with rather than for excluded users--can create elegant solutions that work well and benefit all.

Holmes tells stories of pioneers of inclusive design, many of whom were drawn to work on inclusion because of their own experiences of exclusion. A gamer and designer who depends on voice recognition shows Holmes his "Wall of Exclusion," which displays dozens of game controllers that require two hands to operate; an architect shares her firsthand knowledge of how design can fail communities, gleaned from growing up in Detroit's housing projects; an astronomer who began to lose her eyesight adapts a technique called "sonification" so she can "listen" to the stars.

Designing for inclusion is not a feel-good sideline. Holmes shows how inclusion can be a source of innovation and growth, especially for digital technologies. It can be a catalyst for creativity and a boost for the bottom line as a customer base expands. And each time we remedy a mismatched interaction, we create an opportunity for more people to contribute to society in meaningful ways.

176 pages, Hardcover

First published September 21, 2018

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Kat Holmes

24 books14 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 116 reviews
154 reviews15 followers
December 26, 2018
This book was so disappointing. I really want to read a practical, insightful book on inclusive design since it is such an important part of my next chapter of work. But this was not it. It had some great points. But it really should have been an article instead of a book. It was repetitive and rudimentary. It lacked depth and practical tips. Bummer. Recommendations welcomed on great books for putting inclusive design into practice!
Profile Image for Stephen.
Author 126 books19 followers
January 19, 2019
It's a short book, and it often spins its wheels a bit, but the main premise and "Chapter 7: There is No Such Thing as Normal" make it worth the read.
Profile Image for Tim Kadlec.
Author 10 books42 followers
February 5, 2019
Originally published at https://timkadlec.com/read/2019/mismatch

Inclusion has become a borderline buzzword that many companies like to throw around but few know how to actually prioritize. Mismatch attempts to fix that by helping to provide a framework for how to design and build more inclusive experiences. At less than 200 pages, Mismatch is a brisk read and it's not going to cover everything you need to know. It does, however, do a very good job of tearing down the blinders we wear and helping to expose designers to the impact of what we create.

Much of the concepts of the book will be familiar if you've already read much about the topic, but Holmes' presentation of those concepts is often unique and, for me, made me consider familiar ideas in unfamiliar ways.

I absolutely loved her use of the term "mismatches" as a way to consider when an experience doesn't align with the reality of how a person needs to interact with that experience. An example she gives is trying to order from a menu written in a language you can't read. That's a mismatched experience. I've already started experimenting with using the term in my own work when I'm helping clients to identify audiences who are getting a subpar, or even unusable, experience from their sites. So far, it seems to be getting the point across better than terminology I've used in the past.

Some mismatches may seem minor (like, perhaps, ordering from the menu) but as Holmes points out, they add up fast and can lead to a significant feeling of not belonging:

Mismatches are the building blocks of exclusion. They can feel like little moments of exasperation when a technology product doesn’t work the way we think it should. Or they can feel like running into a locked door marked with a big sign that says “keep out.” Both hurt.

The response to these mismatches may be emotional on the part of the person experiencing them, but Holmes is quick to point out that viewing "inclusion" as a "nice thing to do" does it a disservice.

Treating inclusion as a benevolent mission increases the separation between people. Believing that it should prevail simply because it’s the right thing to do is the fastest way to undermine its progress. To its own detriment, inclusion is often categorized as a feel-good activity.

So Holmes tries to be more concrete—both about how businesses benefit from building more inclusive experiences and about the first steps we can take to start improving the inclusivity of the things we create.

She does so with a practicality that is refreshing and encouraging. Trying to design more inclusively, or accessibly, can be intimidating. You want to do the right thing, but you're worried about messing up what you don't know. Given the nature of what it means to leave people out, when you _do_ mess up the blowback can be difficult to bear. Holmes advice for building a more inclusive vocabulary applies just as well to starting to design more inclusively in general:

Building a better vocabulary for inclusion starts with improving on the limited one that exists today. Sometimes we will use words that hurt people. What matters most is what we do next.

What happens next is the right question. Mismatch is an entry point, not a conclusion. If you're expecting something comprehensive, you will be disappointed—there's a lot more work ahead of you. Holmes doesn't set out to solve all the problems or give you some checklist to follow to suddenly be more inclusive (though she does give several tangible "to-do's" at the end of each chapter).

What she does is more important. She gives us a gentle nudge towards thinking more inclusively about what we design and build. More than any checklist, it's this way of thinking that stands to provide the most significant change in the way our experiences impact people. We'll never build a perfectly inclusive experience, but we can make changes to the method we use to create to help us eliminate those mismatched experiences one by one, allowing more people to benefit from what we build, and for us to benefit from their participation in the process.

Profile Image for Lorenzo Barberis Canonico.
124 reviews1 follower
May 10, 2020
Foucault would be into this

Rustin would also be into this

Steve Jobs would also probably be into this

The author's thesis fits very well with a lot of the ideas I've been coming across regarding the positive role of inclusion in designing technology and policy programs that promote the least-advantaged person in a way that propagates into improvements for the rest of society. 
Profile Image for Steven.
Author 2 books10 followers
January 27, 2021
I've both often thought about and read about the topics in this book, but the treatment given by Holmes is underwhelming to say the least. Her book is chock full of buzzwords, but there is precious little substance to be had. The entire thesis could be summarized by chapters 7 & 8, nearly everything else is filler.

Where to begin? I'll start with the positive: the cover design is elegant.

Other than that, everything was bad. There was a lot of unnecessary businessese, tons of empty or unsubstantiated phrases, and loads of ungrammatical sentence fragments throughout the book.

The "diagrams" (which are actually labelled "Figure 1.2, ...") are a joke. If they were included in a presentation, they wouldn't even be chartjunk, as they simply convey so little information it's ridiculous. One standout shows a woman in a wheelchair facing a stair to illustrate a mismatch between a person and an object (though the wheelchair, I assume, is fit for purpose). There wasn't a single diagram that added anything worthwhile to the text.

The actual thrust of the book, while worthwhile, could have been summarized in a few paragraphs. The author is mostly focused on digital design, but she spends nearly an entire chapter focused on Detroit housing and architecture, yet barely scratches beneath the surface. The "deepest" insight she has is the architect featured in that chapter realizing that one of her students was designing a shopping street filled with shops because she missed shopping with her mom.

... and? And nothing, the thought stops at "she had an emotional story to tell." Nothing about the process of how to translate that emotion into a more effective design.

The book often stops short of providing actual evidence or data to underpin its sweeping, sometimes grandiose assertions. The only cases where this did not hold true was with respect to pilot crashes and automobile accidents (the test dummies were based on "average" males).

Furthermore, the book not only stops short of delving into the specifics of good design time and again (achievements like the flexible straw, Finger Works, and Pill Pak are covered in a few, superficial paragraphs and are broadly attributed to "love"), but it also contradicts itself and misses obvious gaps in its propositions. Two examples.

Firstly, the author repeatedly states that the principles of inclusive design are mostly not taught in school. She then goes on to mention several institutes of higher education which have entire centers and departments dedicated to the very topics she says are neglected.

(personal note: I studied industrial engineering ~2 decades ago, and even then there was an entire sub-discipline around ergonomics and 'human factors' that covered the vast majority of her points)

Secondly, Holmes will point out that forcing users to only provide feedback online is an exclusive practice (p. 85), while seemingly oblivious to the fact that her former employer is moving its entire product offering *to the cloud.* Tell me again how that's inclusive for those without continuous access to the Internet?

If you really want to nit-pick: this book about inclusion is typeset in a TINY font. I have "normal" vision, and I had a very difficult time reading the superscripts for the endnotes. Talk about irony.

So yes, this book appears to have been a pet project by a venture capitalist, and I would trust neither of them to design a paper bag. Literally any other book on the topic will convey to you more "actionable" information than this paperweight.

I would give it 0/5 stars if Goodreads would let me. It is hands-down one of the worst 5 or 10 books I have ever read on any topic.
October 27, 2020
As a student studying special education and disability, I am well versed in the idea of inclusion. It’s a word I use nearly every day. While I have written entire essays on how to make early childhood classrooms more inclusive for those with special needs, I had never even thought about how the general population was being excluded in broader terms (i.e. mouses being designed specifically for those right-handed, studies on car crashes being done with the average male body even though females are more likely to die in a crash, racism and architecture). The moral of the story: don’t design something with someone in mind, design it with them. Quick, fantastic, eye opening read.
Profile Image for Stefan Schmager.
22 reviews1 follower
April 3, 2020
Exclusion means rejection. And nobody likes to be rejected. Yet, millions of people are being rejected by everyday objects because they have been built in a way that mismatch with their abilities.
Kat Holmes provides a great shift in perspective on inclusive design and how it will benefit everyone in the long run.
Profile Image for Delaney.
109 reviews4 followers
February 13, 2021
Kat Holmes calls on all of us who make things (whether you call yourself a designer or something else) to recognize the power we have to determine who can participate in society and who’s left out. Focusing primarily on disability in her book, she suggests that disability is not a personal health condition but rather a mismatch between a person’s abilities and their environment. Doing something about this mismatch is not about “doing the right thing” or “being a good person”.

Holmes outlines the business case for inclusive design, but more importantly challenges the whole idea of the “average” and “edge case” user. She says that, “all people are variable over the course of their lives. What if our minds and bodies are simply unpredictable? Which human, exactly, should be at the centre of human-centred design?” This question highlights fundamental assumptions we make about who’s worth serving, considering, including, or selling to. Whose voice or participation is worth something? Clearly, our default ways of designing products, services, communities, businesses and so on are largely or entirely based on excluding some groups and including others.

As someone who’s pushing for inclusive design in my own organization, I appreciate Holmes’ advice that, “how an organization builds an inclusive design practice depends on too many factors to offer just one solution. So the answer is just to start.”

Holmes offers lots of great advice, examples and insights throughout her book to help us reflect and get started, which she summarizes in three principles of inclusive design:

1. Recognize exclusion (critically review what’s being made, how, by whom, for whom, and why)
2. Learn from diversity (co-design with exclusion experts, aka folks who experience exclusion)
3. Solve for one, extend to many (designing with and for exclusion experts to create solutions that can be adapted more broadly)

Like in any design practice, the most important element is getting input and feedback from the people we’re designing for, or ideally with. Inclusive design highlights just how important this is, because no matter what our abilities, disabilities, or context, our own biases will always be in our own way. If we care about the success of our businesses, or about who gets to contribute to and participate in society—including ourselves over time—we have to recognize that inclusive design is just good design.
Profile Image for Michael MacDonald.
110 reviews2 followers
November 21, 2019
Dear Kat,

I will often write a brief review lauding the merits of a recently finished book, sharing thoughts and observations about its contents. However, in this case, I wanted to take a slightly different approach and write a note directly to you as the author. This 'review' is going to be a distillation of of your efforts have impacted me personally.

I stumbled on your book purely by chance. Lucky for me though that I opted to read it right away. I am currently pursuing some academic work in the field of health and rehabilitation leadership, and am enrolled in a course this semester on Diversity, Inclusion, and Accommodation. Further, I've spent my career supporting individuals with disabilities, and I also happen to live with my own disability. Your book's premise was quite attractive to me given what I was pursuing and its relevance to my life's work.

One of the issues that I've struggled with over the years is articulating and consolidating the sheer breadth of issues faced by the broad community of persons living with disabilities. How do we align the interests of people who have needs that may be at cross-purposes with each other? For example, what works for a person with a vision impairment might not be very supportive of someone living with a seizure disorder.

Kat - you offer a refreshing perspective on how we can collectively support each other. You don't simply talk about universal design; you don't lecture your reader about social justice; and you don't dwell on overly technical issues. Instead - you appeal to your reader to consider using the basis of inclusion as a driving force for creativity. You encourage your reader to take an expansive mindset that draws on the experiences of the excluded as a source of inspiration and continuous improvement. In your manner of writing and sharing, you effectively dismantle that sense of sheer overwhelm that we face when we feel like we want to make things right, but simply are paralyzed by uncertainty of where to start!

The answer has been in plain sight all along -- it's in the design! How we build the world that we live in dictates the experience that we create for ourselves and for others. While your expertise focused on the software experience and the digital infrastructure, a thoughtful reader is able to extrapolate meaningful insights into how we shape the physical stuff we use, the software we interact with, and the policies we live within. Everything we think, say, and do is a gesture of design. We craft our spoken word, aiming for explicit impact with careful selection of vocabulary -- this is design. We arrange our furniture for aesthetics and practicality -- this is design. We move in a certain direction toward a specific destination -- this is design!

Thank you Kat for sharing your experiences, your insights, and your wisdom. I am a better person for it.

Profile Image for Jessica.
84 reviews6 followers
August 18, 2021
Mismatch marks my first formal exposure to inclusive design. It gives a basic account of what it is and why it matters, to be contrasted with designs that promote or worsen exclusion. It also serves as a reminder that is worth reiterating: theories can only take us so far, even when they're about individuality and uncertainty, and we need to get our hands dirty if we want our theories to have positive impact on others.

I'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't say much about digital design, but I suppose that's why Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing with Accessibility in Mind will be my next read. It's also interesting to read it side-by-side with The Design of Everyday Things. The chapter on memory, especially, assumes normality of individuals -- an assumption that will be disputed by Holmes.
Profile Image for Jessica Kaufman.
43 reviews
August 14, 2020
Excellent resource for anyone teaching engineering design (or any design). If we design solutions for the people old designs excluded, we will design solutions that fit more people and require less expensive retrofitting after release. COVID19 has created the dilemma for all of us that physical spaces don't work as intended. Inclusive design is a key tool to fixing our built environment to reopen schools and businesses.
Profile Image for Harmen Janssen.
64 reviews
December 12, 2018
An extremely motivating read, containing profound ideas that stuck with me.
I can't wait to put these into practice.
Profile Image for Vera.
67 reviews17 followers
July 4, 2019
Strong words, great input on the topic...but in the end I kind of asked myself if the key messages of this book is really just that inclusion should be a early part of product development? Because if so I am sad, that we need in 2019 a book to say something like that. I would recommend the book for inclusion newbies and as I would not consider myself a newbie I sometimes find the contet a bit too much strong words and less solid indications. However it is well written and therefore 4 star worthy!
Profile Image for penny shima glanz.
449 reviews50 followers
July 2, 2020
This is a short book (the audio is 3h 47m; paper is 176 pp) and while semi-repetitive, it has a message that needs to be heard. My biggest takeaway is that we are all designers and for successful design we need to listen to a diversity of voices. Overall it provides a summary of what makes a design inclusive, what exclusionary traps many design teams fall into, and thoughts on how to improve the future.

I wrote a little more -- https://www.pennywiseconsulting.com/2...
Profile Image for Martina.
2 reviews
December 14, 2021
Where did you love to play as a child?
With this question I started, Mismatch, my first reading on inclusive design.
Kat, with her book, gives us a slight nudge towards thinking more inclusively about what we design. The way of thinking stands to provide the most significant change in the way our experiences impact people.
My favorite takeaways from this book involve the notions of how inclusive solutions can connect people, whether they are in a neighborhood or somewhere on the internet.
The solutions that we build can be economic catalysts for excluded communities. Design influences how people view themselves and their community. The key to success is matching great design challenges with great guidance from exclusion experts. Design with, not for.
Additionally, I appreciated the notion of how important is to make a personal connection, by opening up the ways that people can contribute to the design process itself. People create emotional connections to a design that makes a place, or a product, feel like their own.
Lastly, a takeaway I had was the importance of building new habits.
For example, learning a new language can take planning, training, and determination, it means engaging with people who are native in the new language you want to learn. The same is true for building skills for inclusion, and these skills can be learned from people with unwelcoming designs every day of their lives. We have the power to disrupt the cycle of exclusion and stop contributing to the social invisibility of certain groups.
I want point out that Chapter 8: love stories was truly beautiful. Here she wants us to remember the most important ingredient: love. She shows us some examples of inclusive design and the stories behind it. In all cases, people worked with their understanding of exclusion and with the participation of excluded communities, to design a solution that went on to benefit a wider group of people.
Profile Image for Matthew.
32 reviews
December 1, 2021
Overall very informative and interesting to read about how the self perpetuating cycle of exclusion in design can and needs to be combatted.

My favorite takeaways from this book involve the notions of how inclusive design can expand well beyond the narrow interpretation of creating a unique solution for an individual. When we consider inclusion in design it can expand to assist millions of individuals worldwide. These designs, which normally are produced with extreme empathy and love, have historically produced mass innovation in the way the world operates. From the bendy straw to the typewriter, inclusive thinking has solved problems for a targeted few that ultimately influence the world and help billions.

Additionally, I appreciated the notion of how important the uses of design is and how important their input is. From housing projects to mobile applications, there is no better knowledge to be obtained than ground level research of individuals with on a daily basis interact with our designs. There is no getting around the fact that the best way to combat inherent biases in design and any other practice of work, is understanding who the end-user is and their daily interactions with the product.

Lastly, I walk away from this book considering how inclusive design is nothing more than consideration for our future selves. The human body and its abilities are fleeting, it is easy to further exclusion in usability when we are young and able, but inevitably, memory, hearing, strength, and more fade with time. If we establish a mission of inclusion today, it sets a precedent for inclusion for future designers and benefits anyone who interacts with our designs.

In sum, there is no average user, there is no end-user, there are only individual humans. Billions and billions of individual humans need to be understood and cared for.
Profile Image for Ingrid.
286 reviews
January 1, 2019
Starting off this year with a 5 star book!

To be honest, I haven't read many design books or articles that really introduced something that changes my mind. Sure, I've read things that added to my knowledge, but Holmes here has flipped what I know and presented it in an articulate way what I thought was incorrect and actionable items to do instead.

A big tldr; currently a lot of people/companies throw around the world inclusion but very few people actually design with inclusion in mind, and for the right reasons in the right way. Instead of thinking about those who are mismatched with the existing system, many of us (me included) think about the majority instead. The one that fits our 'user personas' and the ones that are our target user base. But, what Holmes proposes here instead is to instead design for the mismatched individuals first. This includes not only stop thinking about people with the bell curve in mind (you know, the one that groups people into 'edge cases' and considering those people last) and instead to create diverse ways to so that everyone can participate in the experience.

Easy and short read. Love how the book is organized as well with bullet point takeaways at the end to summarize each chapter. One of my favorite chapters is the 'Love Stories' one where Holmes outlines a few seemingly everyday products (email, flexible straw, keyboards) were actually designed initially for someone who could not comfortably use what was the available. Highly recommend this book! Definitely geared towards designers but also interesting for anyone who wants to think about how products decisions are made.
Profile Image for Melissa.
386 reviews14 followers
October 11, 2021
"Designing for inclusion starts with recognizing exclusion."

Loved this quick read about how mismatches between designs and their intended users can lead to (typically) unintended poor experiences. Holmes breaks down the point that we (as a human society) tend to default to exclusionary behaviors by nature (e.g. designing for ourselves, etc), so recognizing that and countering it where possible makes for better designs in the long run. She also makes the point that inclusive design programs need to be built-in from the top-down (i.e. leadership down) and from the beginning onwards.

Some more fave quotes:

"Exclusion isn't inherently negative, but it should be an intentional choice as opposed to an accidental harm."

"[re: Cyberball experiment] Anger increased when they learned the two other players [who had been ignoring them] were controlled by a computer. 'You know that people will let you down, but computers aren't supposed to. We expect people to be unfair; people are fallible and prone to faults. Yet we expect technology to be impartial. Maybe it doesn't always work the ways it's supposed to, but we tend to believe that inanimate objects are largely unbiased."

"Exclusion habits stem from a belief that we can't change aspects of society that were originally set into motion by someone other than ourselves."

"Leaders can be powerful advocates for creating inclusion. Although leadership can come from anyone on a team, there is a unique responsibility for people at the most senior levels of an organization. They must be willing to do the personal work of understanding inclusive design."
October 26, 2021
This book has opened my eyes to the importance of inclusive design in ways I never thought of before.

It made me realize that accessibility is a term that often makes my Interior Designer self think of ADA code requirements- which is wrong. Making things code-compliant is not the same thing as making them accessible. As those codes often provide band-aid solutions that only include certain groups of people with certain disabilities. Accessibility is so much more than that. It is about including different demographics of people and communities via access of public transportation and including persons of varying disabilities and need levels throughout the entire design process- making sure their needs are specifically addressed.

The biggest take-away I had was the importance of ADJUSTABILITY. We are so used to designing for the average that we end up designing for no one. Designing things to be adjustable changes everything for each and every end-user, as they can customize an experience to fit them personally. We need to stop designing for everyone and start designing for billions of individual people with billions of individual needs and experiences.

I look forward to how this book will influence my future work and hope that it has strengthened my empathy as an advocate.
Profile Image for Tathagat Varma.
367 reviews44 followers
December 7, 2022
On the #InternationalDayofPersonsWithDisabilities, I chanced upon this beautiful book by Kat Holmes. Luckily, I found the audio version by the author herself, and that was even better to hear her narration. Among several takeaways, I liked this as the most profound one: "According to the World Bank, one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience disability. To put it another way, there are over 6.4 billion people who are temporarily able-bodied.” I have never come across such a powerful reframing that we are not #normal (which she also discusses at length in her book), but given the natural process of aging and other ailments and conditions that happen throughout life, this "normalness" of being able-bodied is rather temporary. I am sure, if nothing else, that realization alone is enough to make people stop in their tracks and think again about the impact of how most of the #designers take their #abilitybias for granted and design lousy products and services that are largely unfit for the real world. If only we would see ourselves as "one of them" and design "with them" rather than "for them", I am sure the world would be a much better place! The same goes for #leaders designing organizations - the same basic principles still apply! As for the book, a little dated but still largely mint-fresh in terms of the issues it brings out. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Sannie.
299 reviews1 follower
May 7, 2023
As a product manager passionate about accessibility, I think that Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design is a great introduction to inclusive design. The book is a super quick read and concretely gives ideas about why accessibility and inclusion can't just be done because they're the "right things to do." For many people, accessibility and inclusion can be difficult to define, so Kat Holmes starts from the other side, which is exclusion.

I like how she made sure to point to the fact that disability is mismatched human interactions. It's very similar to the notion from Jamie Knight at the BBC that said situations disable people. Hearing this from him and seeing it again from Kat Holmes has really reinforced the importance of accessibility.

The one thing that I really liked that I really want to try out is the persona spectrum. I was thinking about this myself, so seeing how it's used made so much sense to me.

I would recommend this to anyone interested in learning about design and accessibility. As a product person, I think it's also insightful though it's obviously heavy on the design part.
74 reviews2 followers
October 26, 2021
This book functions best as an introduction to accessibility. It is very high-level but does a good job of helping the reader see the world from a different perspective.

I read this as part of a steering committee at the organization I work at. It’s a quick read and one would expect that to mean that it’s lean and to the point. However each chapter feels fluffy, like the author was trying to hit a certain page count for publication. The book contains numerous charts which serve little function other than visual decoration.

The most helpful part of the book is the chapter summaries at the end of each of the nine chapters – a concise bulleted list of main points.

The content of this book would be better delivered in a single blogpost or a Ted style talk (which you can find on YouTube).

The advantage I saw of the book format was that it was great for a team to read and discuss at work.
Profile Image for Mohit Dhanjani.
55 reviews6 followers
January 18, 2019
I will second Meredith's review of this book.

I must point out that Chapter 6: There’s No Such Thing as Normal was truly beautiful. I have been struggling since long about the culture in my region where people call others "average" or "not average" in terms of looks or behavior. This language of math to describe people didn't really made sense to me. In this entire book this chapter is most valuable for me.

On the other hand, the book was not as enlightening as I thought it might be. I follow Ms. Holmes on Twitter and have seen her videos too. I was somewhat aware of what Inclusion means for her, maybe that's why this book was not able to provide me with much of that new perspective as I first got when I watched Ms. Holmes' video some time ago.
899 reviews27 followers
February 2, 2020
This book addresses accessibility and access barriers from a design perspective. It simplifies many basic principles of accessibility in ways I think would be valuable for someone unfamiliar with them, but they will really only be valuable if the reader is committed to putting them into practice and not just considering this in the abstract or as a thought exercise. It seemed like a major oversight that the book includes numerous illustrations with no image descriptions; as someone with low vision and weak visual processing, I could “see” the images but could not interpret many of them or clearly determine how they related to the text or each other. Nonetheless I would recommend this book, especially if you’re genuinely interested in cultivating the right mindset for eliminating ableism in your community.
Profile Image for Sam Jacob Dev.
16 reviews
March 27, 2019
This book was introduced to me through User Defenders Podcast community book club. This was a very short book with just 10 chapters short.

Being a UI/UX designer I loved to read and listen to anything that deals with user experience design and its best practices. Kat Holmes has opened my eyes to what we have been doing for a long time in our own design decisions. She has detailed out how we often come into conclusions on design decision leaving a major mismatch behind so that the other group of people is left behind not using a product. Through this book, she has clearly explained how this mismatch can be harnessed to our advantage thereby helping the business and at the same time help the users/consumers as well.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book, it was a great eye-opener personally to me in aspects of mismatched design.
Profile Image for Jess.
193 reviews2 followers
January 31, 2021
Kat Holmes has been a huge influence on the last 4 years of my career and I didn't realize it until today. Holmes formerly lead Microsoft's executive program for inclusive product design. This book expands on work she did there, which I had originally stumbled upon in Seattle in the from of a tool kit / booklet outlining strategies for developing inclusive design. She breaks her thinking down into 5 cagetories: Who makes it, how it's made, who uses it, what we make and why we make. This book is generally geared towards user experience and design in technology but reference many examples of inclusive design in the built environment and from my perspective should be required reading for anyone in a design field
Profile Image for Libby Riddell.
9 reviews
February 22, 2022
Overall the book has some good points, but there are also some things I wish she took a stronger stance on, or dug a little deeper into. I think it could have been a lovely book for designers on why designing with these things in mind is important to a personal design practice. I thought some of the examples were a little unnecessary and many of the points were a bit surface level. She does a good job and relaying the human experience of feeling awkward or left out because a design didn't work for you but then ends on why this is a good business model, and while I understand that we live in a capitalist society, I wish the book could have just been about designing for inclusivity because it is the right thing to do, not because it is a better idea for your business.
Profile Image for Anne-Sophie.
221 reviews1 follower
July 8, 2022
J’invoque les droits des lectrices et lecteurs de Pennac : je n’ai pas fini ce livre, et je l’ai picoré mais je le compte quand même.

Je pense que c’est un livre qui fait tilt pour qui n’a pas encore découvert la notion de « mismatch ». Dans mon cas, j’avais déjà eu cette révélation, de comprendre que j’étais à côté de la plaque (le problème vient de l’environnement que l’on construit, inadapté a beaucoup de gens, pas des gens) y a quelques mois/années. Pour autant, c’est un super livre sur le sujet même si pas évident à lire. Beaucoup de concepts sont abordés , ça remet bien les idées en place. J’ai surligné pas mal de passages qui me seront utile dans mon travail (si je fais l’effort de les recopier un jour)
Profile Image for Megan.
13 reviews
April 1, 2021
First can we talk about the irony that this book was published in a serif font? The cover art and chapter titles used a san serif font but not the main text.

That annoyance aside, this book is a basic introduction to inclusive design. As a designer for 20 years, I didn’t find much that was earth shattering. How inclusive design expands beyond architecture was probably was the most beneficial. The diagrams are rudimentary, seem like filler and don’t offer much to the discussion. I kept waiting for the author to dive deeper into the details but as soon as a topic was brought up, she quickly moved on. The book got repetitive but it is a quick read and a worthwhile topic to explore.
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412 reviews5 followers
March 1, 2022
Really strong overview of why it's important to think about inclusive design, with a lot of advice about how to think about inclusive design. Accessibility and inclusion isn't easy stuff, and it's not something you can attend to once and then set aside. By learning to think and operate from a place of inclusion--and by seeking out the lived experience of those who have been excluded--designers, developers, and content creators can increase their understanding and broaden their perspective of how people with different levels of ability use technology and digital content. I'll return to this book often to revisit these points. Also, the cover design is fantastic!
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