There’s a commonly held tenet that by designing for the “average” person, we can serve 80% of the market. However, exploring the flawed science behind this concept and the diversity and individuality trends that have disrupted society over the past 150 years, it becomes clear that there is no average person.

In fact, markets are more diverse than ever and are becoming increasingly so, moving us far from the wishful thinking of having a primary archetype to design for—and the hope that this will reduce product and service development efforts.

When there is no average, no archetype, no shortcut, what then?

The good news is: designing for market diversity helps your bottom line.

That’s because markets have always been inherently complex and traditionally simplistic ways of designing products and services for complex markets has limited their effectiveness.

Once you bring practices to your organization that consider the range of individuals who use your products and services—including recognizing all the intersectional factors that define markets as a series of individuals, not homogeneous archetypes or personas—you begin operating at a level that has a profound impact on both operations and customer experience.

Let’s quantify the bottom-line impact

Designing for the full spectrum of your market affords you a series of benefits. These include:

  1. Discovering new market opportunities by connecting with and providing service to previously untapped areas of your market.
  2. Improving customer access by removing barriers that limit access to your products, services, and content.
  3. Growing engagement and conversions by providing more relevant, usable, and accessible products, services, and content.
  4. Reducing the risk of human rights offences by being proactive about understanding accessibility standards, language considerations, and access rights.
  5. Reducing the risk of unintentionally alienating parts of your market by being more aware of market expectations and more intentional about serving the full spectrum of your market.
  6. Reducing ongoing costs by more efficiently planning and delivering products and services that serve your whole market, without the need for rework and retrofitting.
  7. Reducing ongoing effort by starting on a path that makes it easier for everyone to engage with your products, services, and content.

A roadmap for organizational transformation

By avoiding boxing people in by demographics and assumptions through more intentional market definition and user research considerate of the full diversity of your market, you can more deeply understand customer intent, journeys, and behavioural patterns that influence when and how people will use your product or service.

By following an approach to product strategy and service design that is more inclusive of your entire customer base, you have the opportunity to open up market access while reducing risk across your organization.

While this approach may shift your product and service teams away from familiar design and marketing processes by doing away with archetypes and personas, this shift offers a significant opportunity to reshape your organization as an operational and customer experience leader.

Get started with inclusive design

We have established processes across both the public and private sectors for realizing the impact of designing for market diversity across your organization.

As the diversity of the markets you serve continues to grow, there’s no better ROI than inclusive design. Let’s connect to discuss how we can help bring these practices—and their bottom-line benefits—to your organization.

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