Who is Reginé Gilbert?
Reginé Gilbert is a user experience designer, educator, and author with over 10 years of experience working in the technology arena. She currently teaches UX design as Visiting Industry Assistant Professor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering and Reginé’s areas of research focus are digital accessibility, inclusive design and immersive experiences.
She wrote the book below called – ‘Inclusive design for a digital world’ , she has a strong belief that every designer need to design for everyone and she wants to make the world a more accessible place- one that starts and ends with the user.
Gilbert has since promoted inclusive design through her writing, teaching, and public speaking.I first heard of this designer when I went to a UX Belfast talk about designing for everyone and how vital inclusivity is. I really enjoyed her talk and I felt like this was a big eye opener, therefore making me want to do some more research into her work as a designer. Gilbert, has worked with Disney, JP Morgan, Columbia University, Ralph Lauren, and many other major organisations. She is now exploring the role of accessibility in technologies, including augmented and virtual reality.
“I’m hoping that we not only make things more accessible and inclusive but also think about making stuff now for our future,” Gilbert says.
Within the talk Gilbert asked questions like “Have you ever wanted to go somewhere and couldn’t get in, and how did that make you feel?” and “Why would we do that to someone else?”. The answer to her questions where so obvious and highlighted the obvious feeling that I have to not want to be left out therefore I should never make designs that do just that. this is getting a lot more popular among businesses and more and more people are beginning to talk about this pressing issue which is great to hear.
How Covid has helped this issue…
Gilbert points out that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may ultimately open these doors. With more companies allowing work-from-home arrangements, businesses that previously viewed in-person work as essential may realise that people with disabilities who may not be able to go into an office can work just as effectively from home. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 7.1 percent of employees with disabilities worked from home before the pandemic. With a projected 25-30 percent of the total U.S. workforce working at least partially from home by the end of 2021, the number of home-based employees with disabilities is also likely to skyrocket. This data tells me that this gives disabled people more options and freedom when it comes to work and lifestyle as they can work just as well from home which is a positive thing. this also has given a lot for cause for talk and discussion about accessibility for people in the workplace as well as in Digital design.
How can I apply this to my work?
I want to research ways in which I can make my designs more accessible therefore making my a better designer. This type of research is really interesting to me and I loved looking into Reginé’s work and her beliefs for the digital world. By reading her book as well as taking the knowledge I already have from listening to her talk about this topic which she is so passionate about, I will have a good knowledge on this subject and I will be able to put my knowledge to good use in my designs in the future!