How to be inclusive, not elusive: The 4Cs of product design

product design, what is product design, product design definition, basics of product design, product design process, wrote about, 21 categories, here

A few weeks ago, we wrote about why inclusive and accessible tech remains elusive.

After the story was out, a couple of well-meaning readers pointed out two aspects in the piece that weren’t inclusion-friendly.

One, the story addressed only people with physical disabilities when Indian law recognises 21 categories of disabilities. Two, the accompanying visual didn’t bring about the best experience for people with colour blindness. Both issues were immediately rectified.

“Do you understand the pain of a product manager now?” said one of the readers who is also part of the product community in India.

We do.

Is there a way to reduce this pain? Yes, by addressing some key questions right at the product conceptualisation stage.

We put a list of some such questions based on our interactions with over a dozen inclusive and accessible design advocates from the product community, most of whom are informed by their own lived experiences as minorities.

The list, by no means a comprehensive one, broadly covers four areas, or 4Cs: Constraints, Context, Comfort, and Colour (in no particular order).


Great products are about solving a problem better. “That rarely is a result of adding more features,” says Trip O’Dell, a Philadelphia-based product designer who is dyslexic. “It’s about working within the limits of human constraints.”

product design, what is product design, product design definition, basics of product design, product design process, wrote about, 21 categories, here

“Many of the most legendary innovators like Thomas A. Edison, Albert Einstein, Bill Hewlett, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and many others have differences like hearing impairment, dyslexia, and autism spectrum,” adds O’Dell.


A product recognising you—a minority—is powerful, says Kayla Love, a multiracial Black UX designer who identifies as a queer woman. “Language plays an important role in that,” she says.

product design, what is product design, product design definition, basics of product design, product design process, wrote about, 21 categories, here

There is also ample material available now on how to make the language more inclusive and less invasive for people. Max Masure (they/them), a community-centred UX Researcher and an inclusion consultant, covered some of it in a recent blog post here.


Product teams should reduce entry barriers like the affordability of smartphones and less savviness with tech, says Junaid Hashmi, an interaction designer based in Hyderabad.

product design, what is product design, product design definition, basics of product design, product design process, wrote about, 21 categories, here


product design, what is product design, product design definition, basics of product design, product design process, wrote about, 21 categories, here

Most of these questions can be answered by having a diverse R&D team.

As Lauren Celenza, an inclusive design advocate from Seattle, says: “Designers hold a lot of power in how the world is shaped.” For designers, especially those who come from dominant identities, therefore, “I think the first question to ask is whether you are the appropriate designer for the job?”

If you found this useful, here’s a TL;DR version of the entire piece in one graphic:

product design, what is product design, product design definition, basics of product design, product design process, wrote about, 21 categories, here

News Related


Citi raises target price on HDFC Bank

Mumbai: Citi has opened a 90-day positive catalyst watch on HDFC Bank. The stock has underperformed both Nifty and Bank Nifty this year on concerns over growth, RBI restrictions and ... Read more »

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: PM urged to act on 2,000th day of detention

© PA Media Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe detained Boris Johnson has been urged to “rethink” his approach to Iran in order to help secure the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Thursday marks 2,000 ... Read more »

China's Ant Group shares credit data with central bank

FILE – In this Oct. 26, 2020, file photo, a view of the signage of Ant Group is seen at the headquarters compound of the fintech giant in Hangzhou in ... Read more »

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 with Snapdragon 888 launched: Features, specs and more

NEW DELHI: Microsoft Surface Duo 2 has arrived. Microsoft has launched its latest dual screen Android smartphone — Surface Duo 2. Successor to the last year launched Microsoft Surface Duo, ... Read more »

Jammu traders shut down against 'anti-business' policies of J&K admin

Normal life in Jammu was disrupted on Wednesday because of a strike called by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce to protest against the business policies of the government, which included ... Read more »

[Newsmaker] Korea raises electricity price for first time in 8 years

An electricity meter (Kepco) A family of four in South Korea will see electricity bills rise as much as 1,050 won ($0.89) per month starting October as the Korea Electric ... Read more »

IRCTC introduces Leh-Ladakh tour package from Uttar Pradesh; check details

The melted Zanskar River in winters. Photo by Archana Singh. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary company of the India Railways, has launched a special Leh-Ladakh holiday ... Read more »

Evergrande seeks to reassure retail investors as key debt deadline looms

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE: China Evergrande Group will make it a top priority to help retail investors redeem their investment products sold by the indebted property giant, its chairman said, as uncertainty ... Read more »

SC to pronounce order next week on pleas seeking independent probe into Pegasus snooping row

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it will pronounce its interim order next week on a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping matter. A ... Read more »

Play-to-earn Sector Sees a Boost With New Generation of Blockchain Games

The entirety of the blockchain sector is powered by protocols, as they are the means through which rewards in the form of digital tokens are given for the completion of ... Read more »

Bitcoin Mining Produces 30,700 Tons Of Waste Every Year

According to estimates by researchers Alex de Vries and Christian Stoll, bitcoin mining produces almost 30,700 tons of waste in electronic waste every year. As cryptocurrencies become more common, they ... Read more »

Explore the Modern World of Cryptocurrency

The world is slowly but surely making a shift toward normalizing cryptocurrency. Sure, maybe retail giants like Walmart haven’t quite bought in, but the nation of El Salvador has made Bitcoin ... Read more »

Farmers Need an ROI for Precision-Ag Adoption to Grow

AgTech. Precision ag. Farm tech. Call it what you want, but we need more of it if we’re going to meet the challenge of feeding nearly 10 billion people by ... Read more »

Printer Ink is Overpriced. This Alternative Ink Brand Makes Printing Affordable.

Whether you have an inkjet printer at home or laser printer at the office, printing expenses add up fast.  Especially when you consider the average cost to replace a set ... Read more »

Mideast in shambles, but the world has moved on for now

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. UN General Assembly Mideast – Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. There was a time not long ago when ... Read more »

City eyes on Bank of England ahead of key midday announcement

© PA Wire Andre Bailey and colleagues are under close scrutiny – PA Wire Last night the US Federal Reserve, the most powerful central bank in the world, kept interest ... Read more »

Steve Stricker looking to ‘contain' European talisman Ian Poulter in pursuit of Ryder Cup glory

© PA Wire Ian Poulter is tough to “contain” in the Ryder Cup, according to US captain Steve Stricker (Anthony Behar/PA) – PA Wire Steve Stricker admits he is the ... Read more »

Clip of Biden saying it wouldn't matter if Haiti sunk into the sea reemerges amid Del Rio scandal

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved File. Joe Biden said in a 1994 interview that it wouldn’t matter whether Haiti sunk into the Caribbean or rose up ... Read more »

Journalist says ‘lethal' 59-goal striker searching for new club as West Ham eye move

© Provided by Transfer Tavern exwhuemployee shares news as west ham could swoop for luka jovic Writing for Eurosport, journalist Dean Jones has dropped an update on Luka Jovic and ... Read more »

Tube could become ‘unbearably hot' and stations left flooded by climate change

© PA Summer weather July 23rd 2019 London Mayor Sadiq Khan is warning that time is running out to act on the climate emergency, which will have devastating effects on ... Read more »

Nintendo Direct September 2021: Exact start times, where to watch, and games to expect

Photo credit: Alexandr Sadkov / Unsplash Nintendo surprised fans this week with the announcement of the next Nintendo Direct showcase. While the video game company has announced when and where fans can watch ... Read more »

Revealed: The top ten cheapest electric and hybrid cars to insure

© Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo The MG ZS is the cheapest of all electric and hybrid new cars to insure, new research has revealed. Drivers with this ... Read more »

Itel A26 smartphone with HD+ display and 128GB expandable storage launched in India: Price, specifications and more

The home-grown brand Itel has expanded its smartphone portfolio in the country. The company has launched Itel A26, an entry-level smartphone. The all-new smartphone runs on Android OS and will ... Read more »

More travelers to fly to Saipan as travel demand grows

Asiana‘s A321 NEO aircraft (Asian Airlines)A growing number of people in South Korea are planning to travel to Saipan via a travel bubble amid rising vaccination rates and extended benefits ... Read more »

Woman transforms rubbish-filled garden into pastel paradise for just £450

Anna Orjak transformed her rubbish strewn garden into a colourful sanctuary for under £500. ( A woman has saved thousands by tackling her garden makeover herself, transforming the rubbish-filled space ... Read more »

BharatPe appoints Nehul Malhotra as head of consumer lending

Fintech company BharatPe has brought on board Nehul Malhotra as head of consumer lending, said a statement issued today. Malhotra will work closely with the CEO, Suhail Sameer, to scale ... Read more »

Two-legged dinosaurs like T Rex wagged tails while running to stay balanced, study suggests

Detailed view of the tail of Trix the female T-Rex exhibition at the Naturalis or Natural History Museum of Leiden (Getty Images) Two-legged dinosaurs like the mighty T Rex wagged ... Read more »

GM invests in Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta

© Reuters/SUN YILEI Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta in Beijing BEIJING (Reuters) -U.S. automaker General Motors Co said on Thursday that it would invest $300 million in Chinese autonomous driving ... Read more »

In pics | PM Narendra Modi receives enthusiastic welcome in US

Prime Minister Narendra Modi received an enthusiastic welcome from the Indian community on his arrival in Washington DC on September 22. (Image: Twitter/@narendramodi) PM Narendra Modi arrived in Washington DC ... Read more »

Incorrect date, venue in vaccination certificate: Kerala HC directs enquiry by DMO

Representative image. Incorrect date and venue of second vaccine dose in a COVID vaccination certificate prompted the Kerala High Court on Thursday to order an enquiry to ascertain whether it ... Read more »

La Palma volcano: Eruption 'could last for months', experts warn - as footage shows lava's devastation

The island of La Palma has seen countless homes destroyed after eruptions caused lava to spill out on to the island and into villages. Experts have warned the eruptions could last months, bringing a risk of earthquakes, lava flows, toxic gases, volcanic ash, and acid rain. Read more »

Canada extends ban on direct commercial flights from India

After direct flights from India resume, passengers will need to a take an RT-PCR for COVID-19 at the Delhi airport within 18 hours of departure. The Canada government has extended ... Read more »

Thursday briefing: ‘Grow up' on climate, Johnson urges

Photograph: Eduardo Muñoz/AP Top story: PM says listen to the science Morning. I’m Virginia Harrison and these are today’s top stories. Boris Johnson has said it is time for humanity ... Read more »

General Motors invests $300 million in Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta

U.S. automaker General Motors Co said on Thursday that it would invest $300 million in Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta to develop self-driving technologies for future models in China. In ... Read more »

Airtel's Rs 21,000 cr rights issue to open on Oct 5

Kolkata: Bharti Airtel ’s upcoming rights issue of nearly Rs 21,000 crore will open on October 5, the Sunil Mittal-led telco said in an exchange filing. A special committee of ... Read more »

Over 4.29 cr unutilized COVID-19 vaccine doses available with states, UTs: Centre

More than 4.29 crore unutilized COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and union territories to be administered, informed Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday. “More than ... Read more »

Delhi riots: Hearing in Umar Khalid's bail plea adjourned to Oct 9

A Delhi court on Thursday adjourned to October 9 hearing on the bail plea of former JNU student leader Umar Khalid in the 2020 Delhi riots conspiracy case. The hearing ... Read more »

The Antarctic ozone hole is among the largest on record (again). Why, and how does it affect me?

What happens in the stratosphere stays in the stratosphere? How does the ozone hole influence the weather and climate? The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) team revealed earlier this month ... Read more »