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Cards for Humanity triumphs at The Drum Design Awards

May 25, 2021

Until now, many organisations have seen inclusive design as a nice-to-have or an accessibility check-box exercise. We’ve heard from clients that “we don’t have the budget for that” or “it’s too late to make those changes”. But since we created Cards for Humanity, all that’s started to change.

Cards for Humanity is an online game to inspire empathy and raise awareness of inclusive design. Since it went live last year, it’s been played over 35,000 times across the world. And now it’s won at The Drum Design Awards.

Winning the Design for Impact category, unanimously winning the handpicked Chair’s Award, commended in the Website Design category, and nominated in the Design for Good category, Cards for Humanity has made inclusive design mainstream.

Inclusive design is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’

According to the World Report on Disability, one billion people globally (around 15% of the population) live with some form of disability, including two million people in the UK with sight loss and 6.4 million people with dyslexia. Hidden behind these statistics are the millions of people living with temporary vulnerabilities which can affect everyone, such as those who were self-isolating during the COVID pandemic.

Businesses need to understand that factors such as temporary or permanent vulnerabilities, age, race and even personality traits all impact how people experience the world. Ignoring this means organisations risk excluding people from accessing their products or engaging with their campaigns.

So what can organisations do to include more people in their products, services and experiences?

It’s so important for our design community to think about inclusive design. It used to be something niche, something we occasionally did. Now I think inclusive design will be mainstream for the future.John MatherChairman, British Design Fund

Idean created Cards for Humanity as a fun, collaborative and sharable tool to show the practical considerations of inclusive design. Because we know the best way to drive change is by changing behaviours.

To play, you deal two cards, a person and a trait to get a random user scenario: for example, “Lashanda Washam, 18, is excitable… and not very independent”. Deal new pairs to create new scenarios, swap out cards and flip them to reveal more information about that person or trait. Teams can use these scenarios to test new propositions, generate ideas or audit products and services, helping organisations consider everyone’s needs throughout the creative process.

Inclusive design makes an impact

Cards for Humanity is not just an online game. We’ve run workshops using Cards for Humanity with major organisations including British Gas, raising awareness of inclusive design within the wider organisation and embedding an inclusive framework in their existing process to influence how they create products and services long into the future.

When awarding Cards for Humanity, Natasha Chetiyawardana, Creative Partner and Founder of Bow&Arrow and Chair of The Drum Design Awards commented: “We loved the prompt on the importance of designing inclusively – not just for designers and students of design, but crucially, for starting a conversation with the client to make our work more relevant to more people.”

Using Cards for Humanity we’ve initiated conversations about inclusive design with major corporations who might have been excluding people from their products and services. As John Mather, Chairman of the British Design Fund said: “Cards for Humanity is not the total answer but it’s a great way to get your design teams and your clients to think differently.”

By winning at The Drum Design Awards, Cards for Humanity has proved that driving real impact isn’t just about impressions. It’s about creating long-lasting relationships with the people who can make change happen: the designers and organisations who are building the digital world around us.

Inclusive design is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s the future of design.

Watch our winning submission

Idean UK run remote workshops using Cards for Humanity and our other inclusive design tool, The Universal Score, to help teams look at an existing business problem with an inclusive design lens.

Contact Charlotte Fereday, our Director for Inclusive Design, if you’d like to chat about running an inclusive design workshop at your organisation.

Now go play and share cardsforhumanity.idean.com.

Read more from the team on inclusive design