Diamond Sr. Director of Product Design Joey Fulginiti hosted a webinar about an all-inclusive approach to product design. There are many events out there that focus on the "why" of accessibility, this webinar covers the "how".

The "how" delves into the step-by-step method that organizations of all sizes can use to embed inclusive design principles into their product development process. Joey covers how to conduct user research with people with disabilities and use those learnings to create a scalable digital design system.

This session shows how accessibility is much more than compliance.

An All-Inclusive Approach to Product Design

An All-Inclusive Approach to Product Design Transcript

Jillian Fortin
Welcome welcome welcome everyone, thank you so much for joining us. It is awesome to round out the end of this week with like-minded individuals who want to learn more about how to make our digital world a lot more inclusive.

So, a little bit about me the voice behind the curtain you may not see me, but I am absolutely here. I am Jillian Fortin and I am your host for today. I am the marketing director at Diamond who is your digital agency partner for complex technology projects that everyone can use. If you haven't already checked us out at diamond.la and I will also drop the link in the chat shortly.

I am super excited to introduce today's speaker Joey Fulginiti our senior product design director Joey is going to teach you just that and instead of me reading a bio and going through bullets I'm going to pass the mic straight over to Joey to share his unique story firsthand so Joey take it away.

Joey Fulginiti
Thank you, Jillian, and thank you everyone for joining today. As Jillian said, my name is Joey Fulginiti I'm the senior product design director here at Diamond. Today, I'd like to talk to you a little bit about my journey in the design world and my current approach to creating an all-inclusive design team. 

So, I'll do a brief introduction and then I want to talk about accessibility and how I started 
thinking about it then I'll go into empathy do the research develop a system, and create a smooth handoff.  

So, a little bit about me 15 years of experience leading large teams that design web mobile and
enterprise applications, about eight years mentoring and leading these creative teams. I was responsible for the creation of the design system process and actually the agile process for
the Toyota platforms at Saatchi and Saatchi. I've consulted for fintech, entertainment, music, tech, real estate, and publishing industries. I've worked at agencies that are large like Saatchi and Deloitte

I've worked at some really small boutique agencies like moon and mars and black box worked in-house blah blah blah. I've worked for some time now my education started at the University of North Texas where I majored in music and minored in graphic design. Then I went to the art center college of design in Pasadena studied interactive design I went back to the art center to facilitate master classes on the future of design. I've also mentored at the general assembly.

So now as a senior design director, I don't necessarily want to manage the design anymore what  I'm into now is creating cultures of collaboration. So I'd like to talk a little bit about that this is definitely my mantra, this is the idea of we are stronger together so what does that mean in my world, it's breaking down silos between not only designers but teams and companies.

In my first experience as in a design agency, I noticed that some of the designers were working in silos from the same agency. One would be on this project, one would be in another project and they weren't collaborating with each other, they weren't sharing knowledge. They weren't showing each other the work and to me, that seemed like a waste. It seemed like it would be very valuable for productivity and innovation if we all came together.

So when  I started managing, I started breaking down the silos and I created things like design crits and forums so the designers from every project could get together and talk about anything they wanted. They could talk about their work, they could talk about stuff outside of work that's inspirational. Then I took it a step further and I broke down the silos between designers and engineers and here at diamond we have a great team of accessibility subject matter experts.

So now I have my designers working with the accessibility SMEs we're working with engineers, we're working with product owners. We're all collaborating now we're moving faster productivity is better and as I said innovation, but then I even took it a step further, and then I started asking my clients to come into the collaboration and some clients can do it depending on bandwidth.

Some can't but the ones who do they love it they absolutely love collaborating with the product design teams they it builds a lot of trust with my agency and that client it also helps that client to see what we do so we provide them the best design possible so everyone gets better when you're collaborating. It brings people together, it makes us stronger, and especially in this remote culture, I think it's more important now than ever. 

So a little bit about where I've been, I am a traditional graphic designer. I started in design, I went to logos marketing, I started in the print world went to digital web got into data really big wireframe prototyping all of these things are more or less milestones for me, but as you can see at the end in my last year and a half here at Diamond. I've been turned on to ADA compliance and accessibility and I definitely consider this a milestone and something that I'm very excited about learning and incorporating into my everyday practice. 

So my goal now is to create an internal design culture with a more inclusive mindset so how am I doing that well first I wanted to establish the role of my designers and I wanted us to do this together. When I create a process or anything with my design team I do that with them now I have a lot of ideas but I don't try to force any ideas that make anyone uncomfortable.

So I try to get everyone together and say okay what about this and so these bullets here are integral for me for everyone to get on board with. If I can align with everyone's passions I think I'm more successful.

So in my opinion it's our responsibility as designers to do at least understand and comprehend the business goals. Create the problem statement talk to users and understand their needs. Map those user needs with the business goals and evangelize for the user advocate for the product. Understand market needs and other competitors and be aware of everyone who accesses the product.

So accessibility, this is how I started thinking about it I wasn't aware of it in my previous jobs and I'm not sure who's fault that was. I don't want to blame the companies for not asking me, but if the company doesn't ask you to do it,  you kind of won't do it. So here at Diamond, we have we put a great emphasis on it. I'm learning so much about it and by no means am I an expert at it, I'm still a product designer, but I am now trying to incorporate this newfound knowledge into my team and these are some of the ways I've gone about doing it.

The first thing is about explaining it to myself so I can explain it to others. I literally took about a year to draw this diagram on the right, I know it's amazing and it's probably it seems like it took longer than that, but it's morphed a hundred times and it morphs and it probably will morph after today. It's all about talking to people in the community and finding out how I can explain it to myself so I can sell it to my team.

The way I see it is the when I learned when I started learning about accessibility it seemed like it was almost the same best practices as usability in design. It's very similar to me there's a lot of the same concepts applied so I feel like it's just part of the global practice of usability.

Usability to me it's designing products that  make it easier for human beings to use the web in software. Accessibility for me is designing usable products so that people with disabilities and even minor impairments can use those without friction. Then inclusion is ensuring involvement of everyone to the greatest extent possible.

This is definitely a conversation slide, so I like to bring this up right away when I talk to people and clients just to get that conversation started and design is for everyone, and as a  designer that's definitely our responsibility.  

I look through job descriptions quite a bit in my job I create them and when I look through hundreds and hundreds of job descriptions. I never see accessibility as part of a UX designer's job description. And so in my research, I found this graphic here on the right from the interaction design foundation. This was published in 2021 and as you can see on this list there is nothing about accessibility and I kind of want to change that. I kind of want to change that narrative why is it not on the list it's a totally valuable skill for you UXers.  

I in my opinion you should just add it. It's simple and in my job descriptions um I just say are you familiar with it I don't it doesn't have to be a must-have. A lot of designers don't have it because no one's ever asked them to do it so I say are you familiar with it, do you have any experience with it. If not are you willing to learn because if you're willing to learn I can work with that.

Now let's get into a little bit of empathy because this is all going to tie into each other. Empathy to me is really important design. As most designers in the UX field I mean UX stands for the user experience, and it's not designing an experience that you think would be good for you, it's what you think would be good for the user that you're researching. When I looked up all these definitions the second one I found, was to me, the most powerful.

This is from merianwebster.com the way they describe it is "the action of understanding being aware of being sensitive to and vicariously experiencing the feelings and thoughts of others without having the feelings or thoughts fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner." I can't tell you how many times I haven't had the thoughts or feelings expressed in an explicit manner. To me, we have to go out and find that, and as a designer. When I say it's your responsibility if it's not on a job ticket or a business requirement, it's still something you can go out and do very very easily.

We must understand we are not the users we need to go out and feel and be aware of what other people are going through when they're accessing the web. Right, so to take it a step further I just want to touch upon sympathy and empathy because sympathy is definitely not empathy. I think when I  explain that or I ask a user about empathy or a designer I think we a lot of people get these two confused, and so I got another definition from another source and they basically say the exact same thing sympathy is when you share the feelings of another and empathy is when you understand the feelings of another sympathy is when you share a feeling for another person and empathy is the ability to understand the emotions of another.

So it's all about sharing and understanding if you share a feeling you've out you've been there if you understand it you haven't been there but you can learn about it. You can learn about what they're going through and help them and help design a better experience for them.

Empathy in UX we've all seen this in job descriptions for the designers out there. Our job is to understand the problem and solve the problem. Again, we are not the user we must remove personal biases when we're doing these designs. We must understand levels of competence basically, like my level of competence versus what my dad goes through. Right, I have to understand that, it's not just about me.

How hard is it for my dad to check his stocks? Right, cultural differences and use cases as well, but we also must understand the physical now and mental constraints as well. I'm imploring my designers to just take it upon themselves to learn that and how do we do that well. One really easy way to do that is using the tech that's available to us.  

Designers can easily try out some of these technologies right from their own computers. So the first screenshot that's the system preferences dialog in Mac OS. You can go there you can go to the accessibility tab and you can literally just hit voiceover and see what it's like to  access the web from voiceover. I don't see any designers on the call has anyone ever tried to do that? Is anyway, Jillian, that I could see a raise of hands if anyone's tried this. Any designers have tried this or anyone business owners?

Jillian Fortin

Yeah, absolutely if y'all have tried this before we want to hear from you. So down below in the toolbar, there is an icon that says raise hand and it looks like we've got some brave participants. Awesome, Joey we've got quite a crew of folks that have done this. Would you like to invite any to the stage?

Joey Fulginiti

I mean if anyone has an experience they'd like to tell us, yes. Absolutely!

Jillian Fortin

Drop it in the chat if you'd like to come on stage and share with the class if you will.

Joey Fulginiti

Yeah, this is something that, again, I'm new to I'm new to this. But as a designer you know one of the things we're doing here at Diamond that's awesome is we're doing user testing with people with disabilities and talking to them has been incredibly useful and when we talk to them we see like, oh this is how one person said to us I I've I use voiceover for it's always on and I'm like wow what's that like and I asked my designer one day like have you turned it on yet he's like no I go try it turn it on for an hour and see what it's like and the feedback is amazing.

Again, this is something you don't have to have you don't have to ask a client for a massive research budget you know you can do this stuff on your own and we have a lot of fun with it. We bring it to our UX designers forum, we talk about it, we solve for it's great. The other slides the other screenshot is from google chrome. There's settings in chrome turn them on, see what it's like. I think it's really uh, fun. Jillian before I go on does anyone want to say anything?

Jillian Fortin

Everyone seems to have gotten quite, but g and genie in the chat did share I've "started incorporating alt text when I post images on Twitter"

Joey Fulginiti

All right on yeah. Alt text, I'm going to talk a little bit about that too. Yeah, all these things that we do as designers, they're not as hard or is as unfathomable as I thought they were before I came here and learned that this is just basically part of the UX design culture anyway.

Let's talk a little bit about research so in the UX design world, these are all things we do as in UX or product design anyway. A lot of I'm just going to go over a few examples, not a lot. but I'm just going to show you like why not just try this right creating personas for people with disabilities can be an invaluable for creating exclusive and accessibility products. So again, I've created a lot of personas in my day I've never created one for a person with disabilities so if you haven't done it I would say do it, try it fun.

It's easy, you can talk to people, you can get some user testing or some surveys in, and then you can validate these. You could keep refining these personas and then now it's a design artifact that your designers can always look at as they're designing valuable source journey maps.

This journey map doesn't go into anything with accessibility, but it's an old journey map that I built for a client that was trying to describe the user's journey on paying their car loan. As you can see, as I talked to these users they were excited at the beginning of their journey and as soon as they had to log in and make a payment they went from feeling nervous, to frustrated, to angry.

I don't even want to tell you what they were saying when they were angry, but as you can see they came out of it, and then they were upset again and my advice to the client was just, fix the pain just look at the red and fix those things. It's not the entire experience sometimes it's just the um the part of that journey that's causing your user this great deal of pain.

The companies owe it to the users and we owe it to the companies to make sure they're aware of this. The other thing we do here at Diamond, is we talk directly to the users with disability. We have one-on-one zoom calls. We do user testing, we do user interviews. This is great, this helps us understand more about the challenge they face.

This also validates those personas that we just talked about. Those personas that keep we keep on refining them and refining them then we find their journey maps as well. Again, this is like I've done a lot of user testing in my life but I've never done it with people with disabilities and I just don't know why no one ever asked me that. But now that I'm aware of it I want to do more of it.  

And talk about building empathy, this is huge and that personal interaction on the zoom call, I really think that's a lot better than the automated user testing platforms I looked into. A lot of user testing platforms and I'm not sure most of them have accessibility options anyway and it might be a good thing for us because talking directly to the people has been completely eye-opening.

There was a participant one day that was crying and they said "I can't believe you're talking to me, thank you so much for thinking of me." And it's that you know it's that kind of emotion that we're seeing that is absolutely transformative as a designer I talk about making a difference right. 

I'm also learning like this is also not an edge case this is a lot of people out there. We had no idea from the design world, how many people are accessing the internet and software with some kind of disability or impairment or it could be temporary.

It could be a mom holding a baby and she only has a right hand so she's got about quite a year of that, there's a lot of different things that we've heard in our training and are talking to people that have really made us more compassionate as designers.

If you're a business, what can you do you can offer training? A lot of this training is very inexpensive. Very quick, a lot of this is stuff we've done here we all have DQ university subscriptions all my designers take it. We just went to the CSUN assistive technology conference in Anaheim, as a team. that was a really great bonding experience again with remote work to see the team out there and going to these conferences and seeing these speakers. We had some of the Diamond speakers there, it was great.

There's a lot of other free resources, there's Udemy classes there's the interaction design foundation that they have a short class this is just a small list. There's a lot of things you can do to either train yourself or if you're a design leader get your team into training. For sure, all right so tool kits if I don't have any other questions about the research, I'm going to go into tool kits because this is where I really jam. Any questions?

Jillian Fortin

 I don't see anything. We are good, well we do have a hand up from Bert. Bert did you have a question oh and going all right let's put a pin in that. Okay, put it put their hand down so we can go on.

Joey Fulginiti

Okay, thank you. So tool kits, so this is one of the ways that I've been trying to bake accessibility into our process so that the designers can learn and move quickly without slowing down the design process. I've always used toolkits no matter what, ever since I've discovered them I used to build them at companies like smaller companies that I worked at. It's a lot of work so um these days I look for ones that have all the functions we need and then we customize them. So this is the one we have here at Diamond, platformer two, it's a great tool kit.

It's a UX wireframe tool kit for Figma. It's amazing so some of the things toolkits do for me is they help the designers focus on the problem. I've had designers design their own wireframes and add colors and drawings and then in the meetings, everyone's focused on the colors and drawings and they're like what who drew that car that's an awesome illustration of a car how did you draw that and they're like no I'm not talking about that I'm talking about this interaction, and it's a distraction.

So having this one uniform tool kit in my experience has been um a lot more productive. You also spend less time fiddling with files. This toolkit in particular allows you to create atoms molecules and modules as well as page layout so it's atomic. This creates massive consistency along the teams and it creates much much more time for design thinking and as you edit these and you publish them, especially in Figma, it doesn't work as well in sketch. But if you publish all of your your customizations now your whole entire team can access these.

Let's show you one to give you a little bit of an example. So I brought this toolkit to the team and I invited a accessibility SME and I said what are some of the biggest problems. And one of the  biggest problems we've found with accessibility is input fields so we took this input field, and my designer and my accessibility expert went to town and went through all the permutations that you could have in an input field. Now the problem that we see a lot inaccessibility is that column on the right the error states. What they did with us is we drew out all  the permutations and we fixed all the all the UX problems and we fixed all the accessibility problems.

Now this is at the component level and my gene my genius designer, Tim he created one massive component for this, and all of these now are variants. If you are familiar with Figma you know that once we publish this component from the Figma library all you have to do now, anytime you want to build a field, no matter how many field labels you need you can draw you can drag that one component onto your file. You can copy it as many times and now you just adjust the variance, and now you have a fully customizable perfectly accessible form field. It's amazing this is super scalable.

As you can imagine, and in an agency like Diamond we have multiple clients. We have multiple UX designers they're all pulling from this tool kit they're all building forms with great UX and great accessibility practices built-in. And as I said before if I get a new designer tomorrow and they are not that skilled at it. I know that using my tool kit they're going to be using the best practices. They can reverse engineer it they can learn, they can talk to the SME. They talk to other designers, the other designers on my team are becoming experts at it now. It's super consistent it speeds up your process and it's ultra-scalable. Build your UX and your accessibility best practices into the toolkits, very powerful.

My other example of the toolkit especially in Figma. This is all Figma now because Figma has these great features. You can label components not only do you label the component in your page view, when you're building the component, but you can also label it in the documentation section, The reason why that's important is because every time you use this atom this is just one element now, every time you use the atom in a design.

So let's say you're building a large enterprise application and you're using that icon a thousand times. It will always carry that description with it and then now when the when the developers come and they want to pull their designs, your designs from Figma. They use the inspect column and the CSS and the label is in the code. So they know what to label so this creates a very consistent handoff to developers.  

Cuts down on time, it's a huge huge help for us it cuts down on some of the annotations, but we still need to annotate to be explicitly clear. I'm going to talk about that in a second, but again as your library grows and as you edit everything in the component section, it just grows to the rest of the company and it's completely scalable.

Speeds up time and a hard is not a heart and this is what I mean by that. When we use icons and we don't put text next to the icon, which is actually a usability best practice and an accessibility best practice. But as you can see here, in these examples, some of these companies still don't use the text next to the icon. And if you if you're in a situation as a designer and you need to just use the icon you need to let the developers know what that icon means.

As you see in these three examples, on indeed.com the heart icon means save job, on the Zillow website the heart icon means save home, and on the Instagram website or app, the heart icon means like post. So a heart is not always a heart, and so this as a designer now can describe to the developer what our intent is. If the developer gets it and just sees a heart and always thinks it means like, then they aren't really getting the context of the design. We want them to know the context and if we are explaining the context in our annotations in our toolkits we speed up the flow from design to dev.

Then we also clearly express our intent and then there's one more example here. We also create this I call it the sandbox, uh this sandbox as you can see on the left here it's just a page and it's a sandbox I ask all the designers from all the teams when they have a UX problem or an accessibility problem bring it into the sandbox and let's knock it out as a group. so we'll call one of our accessibility SMEs in and they'll see the problem. Let's say it's a carousel, they'll give us all this information. They'll say well best practice is this.

Sometimes they're complex problems and we need some time to figure them out. We'll put them here in the sandbox, we'll figure them out and once we nail the problem we'll publish the problem. So our toolkit is not only just this great atomic design toolkit it's also an area where you could go as a designer and you could see all these scenarios you could see all the met I left all the notes in there you could see the designers talking to each other and you could see all of the learning that's happening through the team.

So I highly recommend creating a sandbox for collaboration. Every design will bring their problems here we solve them as a team. We invite the SMEs, everyone learns and the team gets stronger.

Jillian Fortin

Hey Joey, it's Jillian. Quick question, what if you are a designer or an engineer at an organization that doesn't have accessibility SME on staff yet, because maybe they're new to their accessibility practice or they're trying to develop proof of concept for their bosses. What would you recommend in that scenario?

Joey Fulginiti

Everything that I just previously mentioned like training is all something that a designer can go out and do. When a designer, when I wanted to get into wireframing I read a few blogs I watched a few YouTube videos. I paid 25 for lynda.com class and I learned how to wireframe.

All this information is out there, so designers can just learn it on their own. That's kind of what I'm trying to get at Julian. So like you don't need to have a SME, it's a great benefit to us we're kind of spoiled because of that, but you definitely don't need it. You don't need it to learn the information and these toolkits and the other pages that I'm about to show you.

There's a lot of plugins in Figma and in sketch that help you with accessibility. So I say use the tools that are out there. A lot of them are free and then acquire the knowledge. The knowledge isn't hard to find, we've done it anyway. Half of us have learned how to do this somehow on YouTube. So I think it's all about the responsibility factor. I think once you take it upon yourself to learn it, you can find the knowledge.

Jillian Fortin

I love it, yes. We have an additional question and I'm gonna give Lucas the chance to come on stage if you'd like to pose your question to Joey directly. Hit that raise hand button and I can pull you up to the webinar as a panelist, welcome Lucas.

Lucas

Hi Joey, hi everybody. I was just my question was just that you know thinking about elements deep early in the sprint that flow into accessibility, so you know alt text is just kind of the most obvious one, but just wondering how when you're working with clients how early and what are the elements to get them thinking accessibility-wise so that it's not just a big rush at the end of your sprints or your end of your process uh make sure it's intrinsic to the project?

Joey Fulginiti

That's an awesome question, my whole philosophy is to make sure that snowball doesn't get huge by the time it gets down to the devs. And that's why I've started well this presentation is showing you how we started at the wireframe process. So when we do wires we pass those wires down to visual designers and then the wires are accessible then the visual designers have a different set of things they need to think about like color contrast and type.

Then they knock it out in the visual design process and then by the time it gets down to our developers there's not a million problems in the designs. But, we even take it a step further Lucas, we in our discovery, we talk about it in discovery if we think there's going to be an inherent problem coming up like if we see something that we're completely aware of that has accessibility problems, like modals or carousels we kind of bring it up right away.

Say okay let's just think about that so we don't go crazy in discovery, but we really start nailing it in wireframing then we get the prototyping then we get the visual design, and then by the time like I said when it gets to development it's not a big problem. Love that question because before I came  here I never thought of it as a designer's problem  

I always thought of it as an engineering problem, but when I came here and I talked to the folks at the accessibility folks here and we were studying other designs from other companies I learned. They would tell me and I learned that a lot of the problems start in design a lot of these problems are initiated in the design process. Does that uh answer your question?

Lucas

Yeah, that's fantastic you know, I mean you're really kind of the only agency I feel like that even thinks about it. I feel like you, know it's just such a mess out there nobody, thinks about this stuff and then you realize, oh that wacky serif font that looks like the background, of course, it's useless and now all the everybody's all you have to go way back upstream. 

Joey Fulginiti

Yeah, I mean I'm guilty of that before I came here too. I didn't and it's all it's exactly what you just said it's just you got to start thinking about it. All of the things that we've done for a designer the reason why I showed you my history where it came from all of that stuff I learned online I wanted to get into wires I wanted to get into mobile in 2007 when I saw the iPhone. I was like I have to design that thing how do I do it, YouTube.

I went, I learned, I just went online and learned I didn't go back to college to learn how to design for mobile. I just picked it up. Same thing with all these things I'm giving you guys here today. I'm going to give you links at the end of this. For the resources, there's so much information out there in addition to all these cool plugins that we're using and if you knock it out in every step of the process in a software development lifecycle you will not have a massive huge snowball crushing your engineers. Yeah, thank you for that question, Lucas. That's what we're talking about today for sure the designers being aware. 

I'm gonna keep going on Jillian. I think we're doing pretty good on time. So I talked about wireframing and toolkits that's at the start and then you get into visual design and then you hand it over to the developers. In traditional software development when I started way back like a hundred years ago, I was always taught to annotate my designs now the annotations on the far right you can see on the screen here.

Excuse me, these are uh interaction annotations we've always been trained to do that so we're just talking to the developers saying we should go this, this should do this, this opens up in a modal, this does not go to a another page, or it opens another page but I want I wanted to open another tab, don't leave the page whatever those interactions are we typically talk to our engineers. We list it all out here in the handoff but now adding another layer to that.

We are now adding accessibility annotations and as you can see these boxes and you can see the little chevrons. The chevrons are calling out the h the h1 h2 tags the other the lighter blue chevrons are calling out the alt text tags. Then you see like now you're seeing like page title tags landmarks reading order labels headings links buttons states this is all of our job and if the designers are aware of this they hand this down to the engineers.

They're like oh thanks, I don't have to think about this. I've had an engineer tell me like I never knew where to draw that div or where to put it and since the designers have the intent they know what sections they want to separate now they can annotate it in a way that when we hand it over to developers. They're just flying through the code, we used to have, in my last agency, we used to have hour and a half long meetings after the designs were approved with the engineering teams to tell them all of this. They would be really long meetings that would go over and have to be repeated and repeated and repeated the amount of meetings we had just to do this was incredible. 

Now we're cutting down on that I would say at least by 50%, we still talk we still collaborate I always give each designer five hours of oversight when they're done with their work so they can always work with devs. Make sure they're all collaborating, but this handoff has been integral in our improvement between design and development and this is one of the kits that we use. This is free this is I give you the link here this is a kit created by the folks at indeed and a girl named Stephanie Hagerdorn. This is awesome, they made these little tags into components so you could use the kit, bring it into your system and publish it.

So we published this in our Diamond Figma account and now all my designers can pull from this. We've also, like I said, whenever we get a free kit we always tweak it we edit it. Our SMEs look at it and they're like oh this is wrong   let's change this or let's add this whatever right annotations for accessibility it explains the intent of the designers cuts down on meetings speeds up production and it eliminates confusion.  

Highly recommend using some of these kits in Figma, again like I should probably sell Figma because like Figma is the bomb because all of this is all cloud-based so on a remote team. All of my once I publish this anyone from anywhere can use these  kits so design systems so as I was saying after we do wires and we hand it over to visual. Now, visual designers, they have another whole list of things they have to go through to make sure that these designs are accessible so they convert the brand style guide to digital.

They have to go over color crap, color contrast, font sizes, and weights. They have to convert the style from the tool kit so the toolkit's pretty much accessified, but as you add like I said what fonts and color they have to go through their checklist of things to do. Once they do this in sigma this also creates code snippets, it creates CSS snippets so the developers can use the CSS for their work and it also gives you red lines in Figma.

It gives you the padding and such so it really helps you move fast and then like I said, if you accessify this for your client, then as the company scales you always have your accessibility back built in.

Those are some of the tools I would  say use them I would say check them out there's a lot more free tools I put a few more on this on this presentation. Just a real quick kind of high level overview of what some of my teams look like. I know we have that advantage of having accessibility SMEs if you can't hire a team of them and you can hire one I would say do it and then use them as the accessibility ninja bring them into every project team and then help them just knock out problems.

You know, 15 years ago UXers were that person we were the new kids on the block and when there's only one of us on a team we'd go into, that's how I started  I would go into a room with developers and I would just knock out a UX problem. So now by having our SMEs come in they're seeing the problems right away and they're collaborating with us and they're helping us fix those problems. But everyone on this team is aware of it and they're knowledgeable of it.

My researchers the UX/UI designers are obviously aware of it the SMEs or whatever my product owners here at Diamond are amazing they are always aware of it and our developers they're they're great at it. By letting your whole team know about it you will all catch that and then by creating a culture of collaboration you'll you'll innovate and you'll create better productivity going forward.

So if you're a business owner or a designer what can I do like I said acknowledge it and be aware of it start there. That's how I started I wasn't aware of it before I came here now I am and now I'm completely into it. Training if you're a designer go get some training or if you're a team leader or a company offer training everyone in tech offers training offer some training on this field. I highly recommend it, use the plugins, add it to your toolkit add it to your design systems.

Document your research documenting the problems we see has been great because as we get into another client a designer will say, "hey didn't you run into that problem on that project?" Yeah, I looked at my documentation done learn, and grow. Enjoy the journey and by all means, collaborate. So here's my list of resources and if anyone has any questions I am available for questions  

Thank you very much 

Jillian Fortin

Awesome, thank you, Joey!  We do someone on stage with the question and I'm going to invite Vic to turn on his camera. Hello, Vic.

Vic

Hey Joey, thanks for doing this webinar. I want to say that beforehand, and sharing your experience. I had a question related to inclusiveness which is the whole title of this thing. I think I posted in the chat, but it's around like the difference between accessibility and inclusiveness like what's your take on that.

And maybe there's some best practices for getting into that sort of like inclusive design mindset. And what's your experience between besides accessibility and in your design and like designing for different age groups for example or genders or different languages and races and like because inclusiveness kind of covers a lot of things right so I just kind of wanted to ask if you have any ideas from that and maybe from a design standpoint also like if there's any patterns for inclusiveness that you could speak about.

Joey Fulginiti

Yeah, well like I said in that awesome drawing that I did. There are so many elements of usability that apply to accessibility and inclusion. Inclusion is something I do with a client where a client might say that I only want to I don't want to build this app for mobile or I only want to build it for mobile.

Then people that don't have access to the internet that have to use the library, can't access that product right so one of the things I try to advocate for is complete responsiveness so you can see it from everywhere web apps are a big thing now, that I think is better for inclusion because you don't need a certain application you don't need a mac or a pc you don't need a certain set of processors to run an application.

Web apps are awesome, the new YouTube I think it's YouTube music web app it's phenomenal. It's lightweight and I can view it anywhere so there are different things you're seeing in tech that are allowing people to access the web from anywhere.

Because we have to understand not everyone has a cell phone and during the pandemic, I learned that there's a lot more people that don't even have access to the internet I was shocked at the numbers that I heard. So how are they how are they getting their information right a lot of them are going to the public libraries.

So like I said if you like my crypto app, is just an app, so no you can't can't go to the library and see that. I think it's our responsibility to bring that up, bring that up to the client. I always advocate for three break points when we design desktop, tablet, and mobile. (320, 768, and 1440.)

So there there's a few things you you can do there and it's the same thing as everything else Vic. Take those classes like you know the DQ university class talked about it too there's a lot we can learn and there's just so much more we can do. 

Yeah, thanks for the question man.

Jillian Fortin

I wanted to let everybody in the audience know that we are going to be doing these types of webinars more  frequently at least every month. If there's anything related to our core competencies in product design, technology, or accessibility we are all ears. We are here to serve our community, so if there's anything we can do to help you in your accessibility journey don't hesitate to let us know what that is. 

Joey Fulginiti

And Jillian, I think we should also talk about that if anyone on this um webinar wants to check out the next one this is part one of um a three-part series  the next one is the infrastructure of design.

In tool kits, design systems that's all part of design infrastructure, and like I said like I I'm I'm working as a director to try to build this infrastructure so design teams can work quicker and free up more time to do more design thinking. So the next one will be much more design heavy, but if you're interested in that especially if you're a business owner and you want your teams to move quicker I really highly recommend building an infrastructure that allows the teams to to move quick find files naming conventions all that stuff so that's the next one and that one's really exciting as well.

Jillian Fortin

Awesome that's super interesting. Are there any homework items you recommend someone take a look at before they join the infrastructure webinar?  

Joey Fulginiti

No homework, just you know bring your open mind and help me collaborate. 

Jillian Fortin

I love that, we are going to be a lot more interactive for that one, Joey, since it's going to be a little more technical we want to hear y'all's current state of your design systems. We want to hear what you took away from today's conversation and share with the class and then we can build upon your progress and really work towards an infrastructure that'll really make your systems more efficient.

Awesome I don't see any more questions or hands raised. I'm going to just close out a little early. I have dropped a couple of links in the chat for you all to follow us on social media and sign up  for our newsletter if you haven't already, that is the best way to stay in the know of Diamond events and upcoming trainings and case studies so please make sure that you are following on those networks and then after this webinar ends you will you will receive a little pop-up window with a two-question survey, it'll take less than a minute and we'd love your thoughts on today's session as well as thoughts on how future webinars can bring value to your business um so that being said we thank you once again for joining us and have a great rest of your week take care, everyone.

Joey Fulginiti

Thank you, everyone

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Diamond will host monthly webinars related to our core competencies in product design, technology, and accessibility. Sign up for our newsletter and social media to stay up to date on when those will happen.