“Let’s think about exclusion rather than inclusion”

Ryan Nono
2 min readMay 13, 2022

In my quest to continue growing in the space of product & design I’ve been really enjoying this “High Resolution” series on YouTube that interviewed 25 of our industry leaders.

I particularly loved hearing Kat Holmes’s approach in the episode linked below that debunks designing for the “normal” (where we design for the majority), and talks about how historically that approach has failed many times.

She states that inclusive design has often been mixed and used interchangeably with universal design which isn’t the best approach.
Through great examples and discussion this topic is unpacked and the suggestion is made that when trying to make inclusive products you need to consider the most excluded demographic from the majority and find a way to make your solutions adaptable to them. These solutions will in turn deviate from the traditional one-size-fits all, and will be more so a one-size-fits-one assuring those people are serviced.

A cool example is the modern-day helmet. If the helmet was approached with the notion of universal design, the averages of all human head sizes would have been taken and there would only be that one size sold in stores. Now this obviously wouldn’t have been ideal. That’s why instead we made helmets with an adjustable strap so that each person can customize their experience and everyone can be serviced by the one product.

Very interesting in my opinion. I’ll be looking into how this can be extrapolated and applied on to digital products!



Ryan Nono

👋 I’m a product designer and systems enthusiast who embraces a holistic design approach.