Human diversity; Is it a strength to leverage or an obstacle to be mitigated? The personal computing industry constantly faces a critical question: can one product be meaningful to billions of people? Human beings have been at the centre of design practices for a long time. Yet most technology is still surprisingly poor at adapting to the unique needs of an individual person.
Microsoft’s radical new inclusive design approach rethinks the concept of human-centered design to truly adapt to human diversity. Join Kat Holmes, Principal Design Director Inclusive Design at Microsoft, for this keynote talk to explore how inclusive design can unlock more meaningful experiences at a personal, corporate, and global scale.
Kat Holmes – led the development of the Microsoft Inclusive Design toolkit, described in the February 2016 issue of Fast Company as a “radical” evolution of design thinking and practices. Unlike traditional approaches to accessibility, Holmes emphasizes studying the way people interact with each other as an analog for better interactions between people and technology. Her aim is to create experiences that are one size fits one, not one size fits all. Her work results in adaptive, personal, and accessible technologies.
She’s also passionate about film-making as part of the design process. Most recently she produced Inclusive, documenting the key insights and partners that led to this emerging design approach. In 2014 she collaborated with VICE Motherboard and Warner Brothers to create a two-part documentary: Captivated by Her, inspired by the Spike Jonze film Her. The documentary follows workshops with students, artists and innovators to explore how human emotion can inspire new interactions with technology. In 2016 she partnered with The Martian and Fox Studios to host a global design challenge, Hacking Mars.
Holmes is frequently invited to speak about design, most recently at Pixar, Walt Disney Imagineering, Toyota Research Institute, and Girls Who Code. She enjoys working with students and universities to bring inclusive design to their curricula. She has a growing interest in how inclusive design can benefit startups and NGOs.