Working transparently makes diverse participation possible, as those who wish to get involved and who have access to the content can learn and contribute. Transparency is an important aspect of inclusive design; it is an invitation to participate, and it allows for collaboration from a diverse group of people. Openness does not guarantee accessibility however; content and tools themselves must be accessible.
By working transparently, we provide greater access to our collective knowledge, and input and feedback is more likely to come from unexpected sources. This allows us to learn from and incorporate diverse perspectives, such that our solutions meet more diverse needs. Collaborating with people from different areas of study or work, from different cultures and/or with different life experiences broadens everyone’s perspective and encourages empathy and an openness to new ideas.
Learning to work transparently requires an adjustment in the way that we approach our work. Sharing design ideas, sketches or unpolished mockups before they are complete can be scary at first. Learning to trust a community takes time and practice, but as more of us learn to work in this way, the more we can invite others into the process, resulting in a virtuous cycle of inclusion.
- Present work to larger groups on a regular basis to solicit contributions and feedback
- Use accessible and open communication tools - these can provide the means to both alert potential participants to a group discussion or activity, as well as provide a means of distributing collaborative artifacts
- Post meeting minutes, design artifacts, and other information in an accessible and open location, and alert the community to new postings