Building
Socially-Inclusive Design Systems

TATIANA MAC

Designer

Journalist

Activist

SOLUTIONS

SEEK


JUSTICE

SEEK 


JUSTICE

for

SOLUTIONS

Female

Male

Truth

False

Female

Male

Truth

False

Nonbinary

Nonexistent

How did we get here?

How do we fix it?

How do we prevent it?

Building
Socially-Inclusive Design Systems

TATIANA MAC

Component-Based

Reducing design elements to the smallest replicable unit

Dropdown

Form pattern

Product registration

Atom

Molecule

Organism

Form pattern

Sign up form

Atom

Molecule

Organisms

Product registration

Dropdown

Dropdown

Form pattern

Product registration

Atom

Molecule

Organism

Exclusionary

Exclusionary

Exclusionary

Product registration

Organisms

Exclusionary

Products

Beings

Exclusionary

Industry

Ecosystem

Exclusionary

Female

Male

Male

Nonbinary

Female
Custom choices
It depends™

Nonbinary

Custom choices
It depends™
He/Him
They/Them+
She/Her
Male
Null
Female

/cue eternal scream

gender !== gender pronouns

Words matter.

Dropdown

Form pattern

Product registration

Atom

Molecule

Organism

Product registration

Organisms

Exclusionary

Products

Beings

Exclusionary

Industry

Ecosystem

Exclusionary

Positive
feedback
loop

Exclusionary Ecosystem

Sustains
 bad practices, defines systemic issues

Exclusionary Atoms

Introduces
bad pattern, driven by systemic flaws

Industry

Ecosystem

Society

World

Positive
feedback
loop

Exclusionary Society

Sustains
 bad practices, defines systemic issues

Exclusionary Ecosystem

Introduces
bad pattern, driven by systemic flaws

🙄

🧐

Chad @DevRelWearsPata

Chad @DeadLyftLyfe

Intent does not erase impact.

Intent

impact.

USER

DESIGNER

Form
follows
function

follows

LOUIS S SULLIVAN

Intent
follows
Impact

USER

DESIGNER

follows

Move fast,
break things.

 

Didn't give a Zuck
about people.

USER

ATOM

COMPONENTS

SMALLEST
INDIVIDUAL UNITS

USER

ATOM

SMALLEST
INDIVIDUAL UNITS

COMPONENTS

Access

IMPACT

INTENT

ACCESSIBLE

Accessible

Component-Based

Comprehensive

Comprehensive

ATOM

all elements are present

type

colour

spacing

voice

tone

imagery

motion

video

ATOM

USER

COMPONENTS

SMALLEST
INDIVIDUAL UNITS

Comprehensive

USER

all users are present

GROUP

USER

USER

USER

USER

USER

USER

USER

USER

Who are we missing?

BENJAMIN EVANS

Delightful human,
Inclusive Design Lead, Airbnb

USER

Who are we missing?

BENJAMIN EVANS

Delightful human,
Inclusive Design Lead, Airbnb

Always somebody.

There's no place
for you here.

IMPACT

EXCLUSION*

*unintentional

IMPACT

USER

COMPONENTS

SMALLEST
INDIVIDUAL UNITS

DESIGNER

ATOM

HUMANS

Comprehensive

USER

all users are present

Nothing about us,

without us.

83% of tech executives are white

Men outnumber women 4:1 in STEM

TechRepublic

Forbes

Opinions are like                   . Everyone's got one.

biases

is a 4 letter word

bias

So, we pretend like
we don't have them.

when you unconsciously prefer people who share qualities with you or someone you like—relatable,  familiar

affinity bias

fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and nonpartisanship;
all of these qualities.

journalistic
objectivity

requires that a journalist not be on either side of an argument—must report only the facts and not a personal attitude toward the facts.

journalistic
objectivity

a style of journalism created without claims of objectivity, often including the journalist as part of the journalist via first-person narrative.

gonzo
journalism

Admit our biases without shame.

a style of design created without claims of objectivity, often including the designer as part of the system via first-person narrative.

gonzo
design

Show the makeup of your team.

race

 

orientation

ability

socioeconomic

religion

philosophy

nationality

language

gender

Comprehensive

ATOM

all elements are present

race

gender

orientation

ability

socioeconomic

religion

 

philosophy

nationality

language

Comprehensive

USER

all users are present

race

gender

orientation

ability

socioeconomic

religion

 

philosophy

nationality

language

INCLUSION

Accessible

Inclusive

Component-Based

Comprehensive

Cooperative

race

gender

orientation

ability

socioeconomic

religion

philosophy

nationality

language

Positive
feedback
loop

FEEDBACK

DESIGN

Designers

Customer Service Team

FEEDBACK

DESIGN

Designers

Customer Service Team

Theory

Reality

FEEDBACK

DESIGN

Designers

User

Theory

Reality

FEEDBACK

DESIGN

Designers

User

Theory

Reality

Impact

Intent

Positive
feedback
loop

FEEDBACK

DESIGN

RESEARCH

It's not their job
to educate you.

Positive
feedback
loop

FEEDBACK

DESIGN

RESEARCH, proactive

RESEARCH, reactive

Perpetual
audit

FEEDBACK

DESIGN

RESEARCH, proactive

RESEARCH, reactive

Learn how to properly apologise.

1️⃣ Resist the urge to centre yourself

2️⃣ Apologise for impact

3️⃣ Make a plan to fix

5️⃣Pay that knowledge forward

4️⃣Remember for next time

ADAPTABLE

Accessible

Inclusive

Adaptable

Component-Based

Comprehensive

Cooperative

greatest power

greatest
weakness

==

A design system acts as the connective tissue that holds together your entire platform

ablelist

A design system acts as the connective tissue that holds together your entire platform

ablelist

sexist

A design system acts as the connective tissue that holds together your entire platform

sexist

A design system acts as the connective tissue that holds together your entire platform

anti-trans

anti-trans

A design system acts as the connective tissue that holds together your entire platform

anti-queer

anti-queer

racist

A design system acts as the connective tissue that holds together your entire platform

racist

GROUP

USER

USER

USER

USER

USER

USER

USER

THE REST
OF US

NEURO-
TYPICAL

MALE

HETERO

CIS

WHITE

ABLE-BODIED

GROUP

Capitalist
white
supremacist
patriarchy

racist

sexist

ableist

anti-trans

anti-queer

Accessible

Inclusive

Adaptable

Component-Based

Comprehensive

Cooperative

Inaccessible

Exclusive

Rigid

Understand its impact fully.

Work to dismantle its connective tissue...

Within yourself and the systems you build.

...

Resist relentlessly, at the atomic level.

@tatianatmac

Patterns

Organisms

Inclusionary

Products

Beings

Inclusionary

Industry

Ecosystem

Inclusionary

Atom

Components

Inclusionary

NEURO-
TYPICAL

MALE

HETERO

CIS

WHITE

ABLE-BODIED

 THE REST OF US

 THE REST OF US

NEURO-
DIVERGENT

NON
BINARY

QUEER

TRANS

BLACK

DISABLED

What if?

 THE REST OF US
 

NEURO-
DIVERGENT

NON
BINARY

QUEER

TRANS

BLACK

DISABLED

Accessible

Inclusive

Adaptable

Component-Based

Comprehensive

Cooperative

Innovative

Creative

Interdiscipliary

Let's burn this
shit down. 👩🏼‍🏭🔥

And build something better...

Oh, and this time?

Move intentionally, fix things.