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Design is expression, a service, an act of creativity. But if designers design for everyone, how can there be so little diversity in the profession? In this book, Jessica Bantom examines the implications of design in everyday life, from spaces and products to images and the fashion industry. Too often design concepts are based on assumptions and stereotypes that don't necessarily reflect customers' lives and values. Certain company symbols and brands, such as the image of Aunt Jemima, have stirred controversy for years but only recently has there been a corporate social awakening. The demographics of our society are changing and becoming more diverse, yet different perspectives are often ignored unless there's fallout from public backlash.
Bantom explores the concept of human-centered design that taps into an understanding of identity: how people live, what's important to them, and what informs their perspectives and experiences. Engaging directly with customers to identify their challenges and working with them to test ideas and solutions is the foundation of human-centered design. It's vital for businesses to get on board and change outdated mindsets if they want to be successful.
Bantom explains the six habits of culturally competent designers that can make this shift happen, and result in design solutions that resonate with people of diverse backgrounds. She offers a Design for Identity blueprint that honors humanity, celebrates diversity, promotes equity and inclusion, and ensures that the design profession mirrors and keeps up with the realities of our evolving world.