Over the last century, people across the world have been developing an increased sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance, leading to an age of individualism.
A more connected world has led to a more personalized self
We have had no less than three major technology shifts that have exponentially accelerated our path towards individualism.
- Air travel
The advent of fast travel opened up our worldviews. It allowed us to interact across cultures in ways previously limited to a small percentage of the global population. Air travel enabled us to move beyond our immediate surroundings and explore the full diversity of human culture.
The internet accelerated this shift even further by not just breaking down geographical barriers but providing space for each of us to fully and authentically engage with like-minded people from any and all backgrounds and interests.
Then came the smartphone, with instant access to the world’s knowledge and real-time global communication at any moment in time. The smartphone’s impact continues to grow as it becomes a critical part of everyday life across the globe.
Shifting mindsets lead to shifting markets
The result of these three major shifts:
- we have removed barriers across cultures and divides;
- we’ve seen a rise of personal discovery and empowerment; and,
- increased freedom of expression and individuality.
All of these shifts continue to accelerate today as technology, cultures, and self-empowerment build momentum toward self-discovery, acceptance, and individualism.
The impact of individuality and embracing our differences means that we can no longer follow patterns of designing products and services for an average person that does not exist. We need to embrace inclusive design methodologies that design for diverse markets or risk alienating or missing out on markets entirely.
Not sure how to get started with an inclusive design process?
From our inclusive public sector work to our insurance, banking, and other private sector work, we continue to develop our inclusive design practice and bring impactful service design and product strategy outcomes to the organizations and communities we work with.