Design is political. Design shapes the products we use, the services we give and receive, and the spaces we exist in. Behind every design is a system of rules (good or bad) that shape how we navigate the world around us. As designers, we help support and translate these rules (spoken or unspoken) to the world.
Who holds the power to define these rules and best practices? Who gets hurt as a result of this? By examining a seemingly innocuous question on an insurance form, we will unmask the underlying bias in a tendentious system. Despite best practices for user-friendly UI, injustices can still be present. Sometimes adopting best practices means breaking old ones.
Join me as I dissect the process I used to unravel the biases in a system that had the power to deem someone risky or not. I hope that you can build upon my experience for more purposeful outcomes in your own work.
About Terese Villia
Bay Area born and bred, I am a designer and researcher. I investigate the intersections of design, technology, and the human condition. I do this through the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. I believe in exploring these areas to help positively shape the present and future world, putting people first. Currently, I am a Lead User Experience Designer at Guidewire, where I focus on equitable holistic experiences for the insurance industry.
My interests lie in the social justice issues related to design and technology, particularly for underserved communities.
When I’m not at work, you can probably find me recreating the 90s, trying to learn new languages, or making art.