In a world that is constantly evolving, so too are our ideas of what it means to be inclusive and accessible. At IncluCity Calgary, we believe that inclusivity should not only extend to the communities we serve but should also be reflected in every aspect of our organization, including our digital presence.
We are on a mission to transform our website into an inclusive online space that fosters trust, understanding, and accessibility. Our goal is to create an environment where every individual, regardless of their unique needs or abilities, can navigate our platform with ease and feel truly welcomed.
Thanks to students at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), we are well on our way to making this mission a reality. We have worked with several teams, consisting of Product Managers and UX Designers to research how we might transform the IncluCity Calgary website into an inclusive online space that fosters trust and accessibility.
In the most recent project team, Product Managers (PdM) Bimpe Olusakin and Farheen Chinoy, and UX Designers Katie Reid, Kate Lindsay, and Nozomi Mitiku divided their work into four key phases:
Phase 1: Discovery
Research on accessibility
Validate the vision
Conduct user interviews
Analyze interviews to validate the product vision
Phase 2: Ideation
Defining the problem and empathy mapping
Phase 3: Solutioning
Phase 4: Iteration
Objectives and key results
In the ideation phase, they crafted a user persona, “Nova,” representing their target audience, who was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The team focused on boosting user confidence and refining the site’s layout and information structure to create a more inclusive, user-friendly experience.
To promote a totally inclusive environment, the team prototyped various accessibility features, such as distraction-free focus mode, bionic reading, nightlight mode, and a ’large text’ option for users who prefer enlarged fonts. A demo illustrating these features was also presented, enhancing Nova’s user experience.
They set clear objectives to evaluate the success of their project, including usability testing sessions and user ratings of information accessibility. Despite the challenges, the project provided an opportunity for the team to expand their knowledge and grow in their understanding of inclusive design.
Thus, the team’s journey towards enhancing the IncluCity Calgary website demonstrates the power of inclusive design in fostering a welcoming and accessible digital environment. By leveraging user interviews, crafting an empathetic user persona, and implementing innovative solutions, they demonstrate the importance of considering diverse user needs and creating an inclusive space for everyone.
The IncluCity team will be implementing diverse research and recommendations to improve our website and is committed to always learning how we can improve our processes, internal and external, to be more welcoming for all.
We are so thankful for the staff and Applied Digital Transformation students at SAIT in partnership with Tacit Edge who helped improve the IncluCity website and mobile app, implementing innovative accessibility solutions to create an inclusive digital space for better user trust and accessibility.