by Frank Spillers
CEO/CXO @ Experience Dynamics;

What is Tokenism in User Experience?

Typically, “ticking a checkbox” for inclusion is how tokenism occurs. To be clear, tokenism is the act of trying to bring representation of left-out users to a project and then undermining those very users. Tokenism distorts the true intent of inclusion. It leaves users out when it thinks it is including.

As a rule, tokenism is rarely intentional, how embarrassing to be caught pretending, right? In UX, tokenism takes on many forms:

  • For example, having internal “users” (employees) act as customers: “Now, pretend you’re the customer”.
  • For example, having employees with disabilities…

by Frank Spillers
CEO/CXO @ Experience Dynamics;

inclusive team sitting at a table

Inclusive Design is the process of ensuring representation in your design, your team, and your design and development process. Inclusion is core to User Experience (UX) efforts. UX professionals are uniquely positioned to help drive inclusion in design teams, projects and processes.

User Advocacy is a core skill

First of all, (UXD)and UX Research (UXR) are rooted in user advocacy. UX could be termed “UXA” (user experience advocacy) since we’re always advocating: advocating for a better experience, advocating for users’ needs, advocating for designs that empower users. Next, note that most UX work, discussions, and decisions are colored…

by Frank Spillers
CEO/CXO @ Experience Dynamics;

woman looking into the future- overlay of digital icons

What Human Centered Design promised…

Human-Centered Design (also known as User-Centered Design and what Design Thinking references) is a methodology for creating User Experience (UX) Design that meets people's needs and works as they expect it to. It’s the underlying umbrella methodology behind all UX Design.

Human-Centered Design, an ISO standard (ISO 9241–210: 2019) briefly mentions sustainability, accessibility, and human health: (bold below)

(per ISO): Human-centred design is an approach to interactive systems development that aims to make systems usable and useful by focusing on the users, their needs and requirements, and by applying human factors/ergonomics, and…

by Frank Spillers
CEO/CXO @ Experience Dynamics;

improving ethics in ux design woman looking at screen
Improving Ethics in UX Design webinar

User Experience Design is at a crossroads with emerging technology, IT business models, and societal trends and needs. Human-centered Design and user advocacy are being challenged by algorithm-driven experiences, business, and technology models that clash with user empowerment.

Ethics in UX Crash Course- Share & Present to your Team

UX Designers and UX Researchers play a major and subtle role in how products and services are shaped at the strategic and tactical level. In this webinar, we will look at how we can make a positive difference.

An emerging high-tech roll-out of…

by Frank Spillers
CEO/CXO @ Experience Dynamics;

Summary: Fun is important to UX design (Monk et al 2002; Overbeeke et. al. 2002; Hazzenzahl and Burmester 2001). Fun activates several important cognitive processes, known for centuries from games we have created and played. Think of a fun game you lasted played…These same processes make fun an important UX design tool.

First, fun erodes structured cognition making it easier to learn. Fun engages whole-brain learning by engaging our right-brain processes (in the right prefrontal cortex).

Second, fun triggers feel-good brain chemicals (endorphins, dopamine, serotonin) and activates positive and relaxed emotions.


by Frank Spillers
CEO/CXO @ Experience Dynamics;

shoes on either side of a line showing exclusion

Summary: Inclusion is critical as a concept because it is at the heart of all UX activities and intentions. Including user behaviors, needs, and desires in design decisions is core to good UX Design. Including users with disabilities when improving or designing for Accessibility is critical. Finally, including target users in regions your product is used is vital for localization UX. Inclusive design is important to understand because it starts with understanding what is important to your audience, not your company or organization alone.

What is the basis of excluding users from a product development process?

There is a stronger tradition in software engineering…

Frank Spillers

Founder, CEO and Chief Experience Officer of Experience Dynamics, an award-winning User Experience consulting firm.

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