Product inclusion is the practice of designing and developing products that are inclusive and accessible to people of all abilities and backgrounds.
The goal of product inclusion is to create inclusive, equitable products that are helpful and relevant to everyone, regardless of their background or personal characteristics. It is about bringing the human and business case together to create products that truly serve all customers and promoting inclusivity and diversity within the organization and community.
Where did the term come from?
Although Product inclusion is a relatively new concept in the business world, it's history is closely tied to the broader movements for diversity, equity, and inclusion. This includes considering usability, accessibility, and affordability to ensure that all customers have equitable access, opportunities and, perhaps most importantly, outcomes to benefit from the products we create.
The idea of designing products that are accessible and usable by people with disabilities can be traced back to the disability rights movement of the 20th century, which fought for the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society.
More recently, the concept of product inclusion has been expanded to include a wider range of diversity and inclusion considerations, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and cultural background. As businesses have become more aware of the importance of diversity and inclusion, they have increasingly recognised the need to design and develop products that are inclusive of all people.
Today, product inclusion is an important consideration for businesses in a variety of industries, as it allows them to reach a wider customer base and promotes inclusivity and diversity within their organization and within the broader community.
Why is product inclusion important?
Product inclusion is important for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, it is a way to promote equity and inclusivity. By designing products that are accessible and usable by people of all abilities and backgrounds, we can help to create a more inclusive and equitable world for everyone. This is particularly important for people who have historically been marginalized or excluded from mainstream products and services, such as people with disabilities or minority groups.
Second, product inclusion can benefit businesses by allowing them to reach a wider customer base. By designing products that are inclusive and relevant to a diverse group of people, businesses can tap into new markets and increase their customer base. This can be especially important in today's globalized and diverse world, where there is a growing demand for products that are culturally sensitive and relevant.
Finally, product inclusion can help to drive business growth and innovation. By incorporating diverse perspectives and needs into the product design process, businesses can create products that are more relevant and useful to a wider range of customers. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can in turn drive business growth.
Product inclusion is the key to building a world where everyone belongs. When we design products that are inclusive and accessible to all, we create a future where everyone everywhere has the opportunity to use and benefit from the products they need and want.