The dangers of period-tracking apps with Dr. Maggie Delano

“The important thing for designing inclusively is thinking ahead of time and . . . making sure that you have many options. Because no matter how great you intend to design something, it won’t necessarily work for everyone, but by having more options you increase the inclusivity for everybody.” -Maggie Delano, Swarthmore Assistant Professor

Overview:

In the season finale of Innovation for All, Maggie Delano, Assistant Professor of Engineering at Swarthmore College, breaks down how period-tracking apps exclude people who are not straight, cis-gendered women without medical conditions. She explains how user design could be more inclusive and introduces us to the benefits of Quantified Self.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The issues surrounding period-tracking apps
  • What the Quantified Self community consists of
  • How period-tracking apps can be more inclusive of people with medical conditions
  • How user research can think about cases that fall outside of the set target audience
  • Ways to increase inclusivity in the on-boarding process of app design
  • Concerns of data privacy in period-tracking apps
  • How self-tracking can be beneficial
  • Ways that self-tracking is happening organically
  • Ideas on tracking “subjective” experiences such as emotion and mood
  • How to leverage user research to avoid stereotypes and generalizations
  • Examples of queer-inclusive business ideas

Links and mentions:

Connect with Maggie:

Making Products Inclusive, the Google Way featuring Reena Jana


“There is mounting evidence that when you accelerate inclusion you accelerate growth and market opportunity.” — Reena Jana, Google’s Head of Product and Business Inclusion

How does Google make successful products when their users are infinitely diverse? Head of Product and Business Inclusion at Google, Reena Jana, shares in this episode the ways that this tech giant takes an inclusive approach to serve its users and be sensitive to different cultural norms. Reena shares how some of Google’s best products were modified and improved through inclusive design and research practices. She describes the innovative AI technology that Google is using to help with product inclusion and make the products better for everyone who uses them. She also shares with Sheana some of the challenges they’ve faced along the way.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What is product inclusion?
  • Best practices to overcome product inclusion challenges
  • The benefits and challenges of handling inclusion on a global scale
  • How Reena forged her role as the head of product and business inclusion
  • Product Inclusion success stories and how the team develops these products
  • How machine learning in helping Product Inclusion
  • How the product development process prioritizes diversity at each level
  • Why inclusivity is valuable
  • Free tools Google offers to help product inclusion outside of their organization

Links and people mentioned

The 80/20 rule hurts everything from education to self-driving cars featuring Dr. Jutta Treviranus

In this episode of Innovation for All, host Sheana Ahlqvist talks to Dr. Jutta Treviranus, Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University in Toronto. Dr. Treviranus explains how traditional approaches to business, design practices, and research can results in suboptimal or unfair systems. They discuss what inclusive design is, why it is so important, and how we can design systems that accommodate everyone.

Dr. Treviranus also reimagines the future of education. They cover her efforts to incorporate inclusivity into the current change-resistant educational system, her “Unlearning and Questioning” course, and her most recent project: developing a lab school for inclusive life-long learning.

YOU’LL LEARN:

• How to use AR to combine real data with simulated data to create and experience new, imagined futures
• What is the Pareto Principle (80/20 Principle)?
• What are the real world consequences of ignoring the “20%”?
• What is the Cobra Effect?

Find Jutta on Twitter as @juttatervira