Equity-Centered Community Design in Product and Marketing Design
I’ve been reflecting on myself and my work as a designer. I’ve worked on numerous design projects, all with a social aspect to varying degrees. What makes them social projects? After searching for new resources and sitting down with webinars and readings from Creative Recreation Lab (CRL), here are some of my thoughts on why we need equity-centered design, why we need thoughtful community design, and how equity-centered community design shows up in your product and marketing work even when you don’t expect it.
My work has most recently have been with startups, first-of-its kind, or products new to a group. We put a lot of emphasis on user research to understand who we’re designing for, what they need, and how we can serve them, which informs our scope of work. A big part of this is to ensure that the product is successful in the market, from how we market it, to how it actually functions, and the platforms that supports the product. With marketing and product design, we have the power to create or disrupt systems. With that in mind, as CRL puts it, “how can we make sure that you’re designing inclusive and equitable outcomes for all — no matter how big or small the decision?”
“How can we make sure that you’re designing inclusive and equitable outcomes for all — no matter how big or small the decision?” — CRL
Why should we care about inclusive and equitable outcomes?
Inclusive and equitable outcomes make business sense. As a socially responsible company, if we really want to serve our users, we need to look beyond the surface. To be a successful product that users will love, spend their money/time, will come back to, and share with their friends, we need to understand what their immediate and core needs are, how to fulfill that need, and how to market and appeal to them with our value proposition as fulfilled by our product. What I’ve learned and experienced first-hand is that when companies don’t understand why they’re designing and how they should be marketing a product, features and content miss the mark. When we miss the mark, users leave, and what’s worse, media picks up the miss and the company is put at risk.
To read more about identifying users core needs from the micro-system to the eco-system level…