Building for everyone, with everyone

Product inclusion and equity is the ongoing work of building belonging through our products, by centering the most marginalized voices at every phase of product creation. We at Google are still at the beginning of this journey, and as we continue on it, we’re sharing what we’ve learned to help drive progress in our industry and beyond.

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Things to keep in mind when practicing product inclusion and equity

Consider all dimensions of diversity

Keep this (non-exhaustive) list in mind as you build, to ensure you’re considering all identities and how they intersect.

Age

Length of time a person has been alive; stereotypes associated with certain age groups are common

Culture

Customs and practices of various social groups

Disability

Apparent or non-apparent levels of ability that may limit a person’s activities

Education and literacy

Reading level, educational background, or familiarity with academic or professionalized concepts

Ethnicity

Related to race, emphasizes identification with cultural, familial, linguistic, national, or other aspects of heritage

Geography and global relevance

Unique conditions, capacities, and needs pertaining to a geographic region like internet connectivity

Gender

The way someone identifies within the range of femininity and masculinity

Physical attributes

Aspects of a person’s body, clothing, or accessories — e.g., body size, facial hair, or head coverings

Race

Physical, behavioral, and cultural attributes that define a group of people — e.g., Black, Indigenous, or Latino/Latinx

Religion

A personal or institutionalized system of faith-based attitudes, beliefs, and practices

Sexual orientation

Physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to one or more genders

Socioeconomic status

Access to resources, often determining issues of privilege, power, and control

Technology proficiency

Level of skill and experience with hardware or software

Co-create throughout the process

The people involved in the process shape the finished product. Every team has gaps in representation, and creating a proactive partnership or consulting strategy can help fill them.

A group of employees from Google’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, march together in a pride parade

Internal communities

Groups that represent the diversity of your company, or any internal groups established to promote inclusion and equity, should be included to inform your process from beginning to end. Participation should always be opt in and employees should be recognized for their contributions.

A woman in a yellow blouse and blazer speaks to a crowd

External partners

Sharing your designs with external consultants can help you avoid pitfalls and provide important perspectives at key moments. It’s important to share early while changes can still be made, and again once the experience is more complete.

Logo for LaVant Consulting, one of Google’s accessibility partners

Accessibility experts

Experts in accessibility can identify potential usability gaps and opportunities to improve the experience for people with disabilities. These perspectives are helpful throughout but are essential in the prototyping and pre-launch phases.

Ask the right questions at key junctures

All inflection points are important, but asking yourself the right questions during key phases of the design process can help ensure that your team is including diverse perspectives and centering underrepresented voices when it matters most.

1 — Ideate, prepare specifications & design

Questions to ask while focusing on customer journeys, product requirements, initial research, product architecture, workflows, wire frames, design exploration, and data models

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2 — Prototype & evaluate

Questions to ask while focusing on mocks, prototypes, research, content and user experience (UX) writing, visual design, motion design, design iteration, frameworks, and back-end systems and services

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3 — Build & user test

Questions to ask while focusing on design quality and polish, front-end development, build testing, release management, and quality assurance

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4 — Market, measure & monitor

Questions to ask while focusing on marketing, analytics key performance indicators, monitoring, metrics, and feedback

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Product inclusion and equity in action

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How inclusive testing helped to improve our camera technology for all

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How internal resource groups helped ensure that “the voice of Google” speaks to everyone

Explore more of our belonging work