Repairing The Harm Of Digital Design Using A Trauma-informed Approach

UN SDGs10 Reduced Inequalities
ImpactUnited States of America
CategoryHuman-Centred Design
Tags#Design #Inclusion #Minority Groups

Many Design Choices Have Negatively Impacted Minority Groups

As awareness grows around issues of exclusion and marginalisation in digital spaces, designers have an opportunity and responsibility to repair past harms.

Whether from ignorance or even good intentions, many design choices have negatively impacted minority groups online, often unintentionally recreating dynamics of trauma. By becoming trauma-informed and centring inclusion, designers can help create online experiences that empower rather than marginalise. This involves acknowledging the personal and cultural traumas minorities face, avoiding design decisions that echo exclusionary systems, and proactively building digital spaces that make all groups feel safe, seen and valued. Two practical approaches that can guide designers in this process are 1) collaborating with marginalised communities directly to hear their needs and feedback, and 2) conducting trauma audits on existing sites and apps to uncover issues.

With care, mindfulness and a commitment to equity, digital designers are in a unique position to transform past exclusion into future empowerment.

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