Creating products for a diversity of users
The topic of diversity and inclusion (D&I) is sparking new conversations in the business world today not only about creating a diverse workforce, but also about creating opportunities for business growth with product inclusion.
Your customers represent various ethnic, gender, socioeconomic, and other groups. Product inclusion focuses on the customers throughout the product design and development lifecycle to help you learn about them and understand their unique needs. When you know who you’re selling to and where they come from, you can create products that satisfy larger segments of your market.
Product D&I is good for business
In a survey of 1,033 business and IT executives by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, sponsored by Google, many respondents saw notable business benefits from creating products for diverse audiences. They also said focusing on product D&I improves customer experience and product quality and increases market share and revenue. Of these respondents, leaders who prioritize workplace diversity were ahead in product inclusion and have already seen benefits.
Designing for a diverse audience
Whether you’re developing apps for millions of users or baking pizzas for friends, knowing your audience is the key to success. Your customer base likely has unique needs and challenges waiting for someone to solve. Of the practices respondents said they used to design and build products for a diverse customer base, the most common in order were:
- Inclusive market research (such as seeking ethnic, gender, or other perspectives).
- Inclusive focus group research.
- Inclusive internal testing research (such as observing how people of a variety of backgrounds use products).
- Partner or consult closely with internal Diversity & Inclusion experts.
Marketing to a diverse audience
Designing products for inclusion is about planning for your customers’ needs, but marketing for diversity also looks at what they want. Just like design, the most popular practice for marketing is inclusive market research to discover what speaks to various groups. The next most common practices in order were:
- Inclusive field research (such as watching how a variety of customers use products).
- Inclusive or diverse focus groups.
- Develop diverse customer journey scenarios and use cases.
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