Microaggressions and Microaffirmations in Product Design
“Death by a thousand cuts” is a common expression relating to microaggressions, subtle forms of discrimination that, whether intentional or not, add up to significant impact. These are commonly talked about in regards to everyday interactions in the workplace, education or family gatherings.
However, given how much of our time is spent using digital products, these are also everyday interactions that should be considered.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! Where there is the risk of microaggressions there is an opportunity for microaffirmations - small, meaningful acts of recognition and inclusion, like a font that enables special characters so your language can be represented accurately.
In this talk, we’ll dive into some examples of seemingly small design choices, patterns and elements that can add up to a heavy impact on our audiences. This isn’t an overview of accessibility or inclusive design, rather it’s an exploration of the effects of minute details in user interfaces and how we can embed awareness of these into our design practice.
Laura is passionate about technology and design for social impact. Her daily work involves researching, designing and managing the creation of digital solutions for startups, non-profit organisations and businesses across Aotearoa (New Zealand).
Alongside this, Laura runs community events and projects advocating for representation and holding space for storytelling at individual, organisational and community levels. She collects creative hobbies and generally has a few too many on the go at once!