Designing for Diversity: How Inclusive Design Can Help Your Brand Connect with a Broader Audience

Monday, April 3, 2023

Designing for Diversity: How Inclusive Design Can Help Your Brand Connect with a Broader Audience

Brands that embrace diversity and inclusivity are more likely to succeed in today’s global marketplace. In this post, we’ll discuss why inclusive design is so important for reaching a wider audience and share some best practices for creating a design strategy that reflects your commitment to diversity and equity.

Why Diversity and Inclusive Design Matter

Diversity and inclusion are key ways to generate trust with your ideal audience. Simply put, inclusive design is about ensuring your design is as accessible to as many people as possible. It helps ensure a good user experience for more of your audience, including those with disabilities. Diverse, or multicultural marketing, provides representation for different races, genders, and cultures.

The best designs focus on the needs and preferences of your customers, and the market is starting to demand human-centered design. Younger generations pay more attention to representation in advertising and factor this into their purchase decisions. In a 2021 Deloitte study, people who identified as non-white were 2.5 times more likely to notice brands promoting diversity as well.

Consumers look for companies that showcase brand values of diversity and inclusion, especially if they themselves are a minority. Following these key design ethics can help demonstrate your social responsibility and ultimately attract more customers.

Awareness of Your Audience

If you want to expand beyond and be inclusive, you have to think carefully about your audience. Letters, numbers, animals, and colors can have different meanings in different languages and cultures.

For example, the number 13 is synonymous with bad omens in many Western countries (including the United States). It’s only worse when paired with “Friday.” So, in a design that’s meant to ignite positive emotions, you’d steer clear of those if your audience is American.

But in Chinese culture, Friday the 13th is a normal day. In that culture, the number “4” is one that people avoid for big events. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, it’s Tuesday the 13th that people are superstitious of.

When choosing design elements, consider your entire target audience and research the various cultures. Avoid the colors, images, or omens that could be negative (or downright offensive) to your customers. Even a lot of Fortune 500 brands are losing their colors recently because they want to embrace more diversity. If you want to connect with a broader audience, consider which colors you should use.

Choosing Stock Photos

Photos are a core part of design. High-quality images and videos can help you stand out amongst a saturated online audience. However, which photos you choose are incredibly important when it comes to inclusive design.

When choosing your stock photos or creating custom photos, consider your audience. For example, you may have a lot of clients in the Northeast. Population-wise, it is a predominantly white area. Even so, being inclusive requires adding more diversity. An image with a meeting should still include people of different races and genders.

It’s not enough to throw in a “diverse” photo randomly every now and then. To display a genuinely inclusive brand image, you must consistently opt for diversity.

Furthermore, you must also consider the coloring of the images. Can someone who is colorblind still tell what the image is? Select images that are easy for as many people as possible to discern. Even when you are fully committed to inclusive, diverse marketing, it can be difficult to do correctly.  Creating a formula can help you stay consistent and keep diversity top of mind.

Consider the Interface

The design interface also has implications for culture and inclusivity. Americans, for example, often prefer a clean and simple interface. They want plenty of negative space, and for the design to be adequately spread out.

On the other hand, in many Asian cultures, consumers prefer everything to be right where they can see it. They don’t mind a “cluttered” design that many Americans would find overwhelming.

Along with the appearance of the interface, language will play a role. One word in Chinese can encompass an entire phrase in English. A CTA in Chinese would be much shorter than one in English.

When considering the differences in preference and language, you could need a different interface depending on your target audience.

Turn to Matcha Design for Leading Design Ethics

Modern marketing needs to leverage inclusive design and ample diversity. Understandably, this can be tricky to accomplish, as there’s a lot to consider. The last thing you want to do is make a major design mistake that offends your audience and ruins your brand reputation.

For all of your inclusive design needs, Matcha Design is here to help. We’ll take care of the human-centered design, including website design, brand development, video production, and more, while you focus on the parts of your business that you do best. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you with design diversity and inclusion, or head to our blog for more helpful tips!

About Matcha Design

Matcha Design is a full-service creative B2B agency with decades of experience executing its client’s visions. The award-winning company specializes in web design, logo design, branding, marketing campaign, print, UX/UI, video production, commercial photography, advertising, and more. Matcha Design upholds the highest personal standards for excellence and can see things from a unique perspective due to its multicultural background.  The company consistently delivers custom, high-quality, innovative solutions to its clients using technical savvy and endless creativity. For more information, visit MatchaDesign.com.

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