This means understanding and defining what value means for our users, as well as advocating for it to be at the center of our decisions by crafting compelling narratives that demonstrate its impact. When we begin championing value, we begin to move away from speed and towards efficacy. We also begin to actualize our business goals because of value, not in spite of it.
The curb-cut effect
, authored by Angela Glover Blackwell, suggests that designing for the benefit of our most vulnerable groups often benefits all of society. Though I am still learning (and will always be learning) how to best support our various underserved communities, I believe we are reaching a new pinnacle regarding equitable design and have the potential to create far more accessible, inclusive, and powerful products.
Everything is a system: a set of interconnected elements or dimensions that service a particular goal. With this foundational framework, we have the tools to diagnose and solve fundamental problems, identify how our biases impact the systems we construct, and understand how our systems evolve over time — all of which are necessary to create viable and long-lasting solutions.
I believe we create impactful solutions only when we enable diverse perspectives and meaningful feedback loops. To empower individuals to do so, we must build cultures that allow for diverse processes, honor individuals and their agency, and are warm and invite vulnerability.
The design process is messy. There's no singular way to do it, and we'll almost always identify something we would have done differently. In that constant, however, there is comfort. Recognizing our solutions were made possible by championing value, focusing on underserved users, designing systematically, and enabling cross-functional collaboration gives me confidence that we'll continue to learn and evolve with our users and product.