"Equity to me is closely intertwined with empathy and the absence of bias. It involves the ability to understand and relate to the perspectives of others, regardless of their gender, race, or cultural background. At its core, equity is rooted in the principles of fairness and justice, which demand that everyone be granted equal opportunities and experiences without prejudice.
As professionals, we have a vital role to play in promoting equity and creating a workplace that upholds these principles. We must lead by example, setting the standard for equitable behaviour and inspiring others to do the same. This requires us to cultivate a culture of inclusivity and respect, where every individual feels valued and supported, regardless of their background or personal attributes.
We can help to create a world where everyone has the chance to thrive, free from the limitations of bias and discrimination." — Ana, London
“Equity to me means interrogating what we have today and ensuring the people in the room making decisions/designing are not only representative of the wider world but can also consider different perspectives to tailor experiences and design for all.
A great example is the fact that adult crash dummies have always been based on men; women crash dummies were just a slightly scaled down version. Meaning crash testing and safety design in cars has not considered 50% of the population.” — Owen, London
“I believe equity and design both sprout from an empathetic heart and willingness to care. If you give everyone a pair of shoes you need to take action to understand the right size for each person in need. The same applies to design. You need to empathise and care about issues to innovate and design a solution. Championing more equitable experiences through design means being more observant of needs, courageously taking actions and genuinely creating solutions.” — SungMin, Shanghai
“Brand equity includes tangible equity and intangible equity. Tangible equity: logo, look and feel (colour and other design elements...), name, comms messaging (tagline, story...), etc. Intangible equity: history, awareness, reputation (awards, certificates, word of mouth...), etc. To champion more equitable experiences, we need to unlock a simple brand truth to always deliver the brand essence and apply that Golden Thread to make sure we're always on brand.” — Renee, Shanghai
“Equitable design for me means considering the needs of the less privileged, minority groups, the marginalised, senior people, and those with vision and hearing impairment for example. Take the inclusivity of Apple's emojis, where you can choose from a range of different skin colours.” — Jenny, Shanghai
"Equity is about understanding the specific circumstances of each person and providing the opportunities or resources required by them to achieve an equal, or fair, outcome. It is focused on ‘each according to their needs’.
Equitable approaches, based on fulfilling an individual’s potential have been in many fields for some time. Child psychologist Lev Vygotsky introduced the idea of ‘maximising the zone of proximal development’ in 1978. How active involvement can help each child reach their full potential, starting with an understanding of their individual requirements.
Equity centred design is about taking this approach into the full design process and going a step further. It focuses on the needs, and empowerment, of individuals, especially those who are currently excluded or marginalised. It is about a closer relationship between the designer, the design process, and the individual you are designing for.
It requires understanding of their specific situation and how the design process and its products can be improved by giving them a clear voice and better outcome. And it starts with challenging ourselves to understand our own biases and assumptions. It’s also about appreciating the structures in place that have created existing inequities, and what we can do to overcome them. It is from there that we can look to properly empathise with each individual’s circumstances, challenge the status quo, and design solutions that allow them to achieve their potential." — Tom, London