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Taking an inclusive approach to research increases the likelihood that we design services that work for everyone. There are so many ways a service can unintentionally be made hard to use, confusing or ineffective that the chance of getting it right without listening to all users is low.
This means investing effort in listening to under-represented and marginalised groups.
When you consider the number of people accessing public services, you realise that even a small change to the way something works or is communicated, based on user insight, can make a service significantly more usable and useful for thousands of people. Understanding how a service is working for vulnerable groups is essential because it can mean the difference between people using or abandoning a service.
Often these groups are the people who need the service most.
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Running inclusive research during discovery and throughout design will ensure the service is solving the right problems. Clear insight into people’s needs makes it possible to prioritise features and functionality so that budgets can be used effectively.
Public and commercial services need to work for everyone and testing services with people with low digital skills or accessibility needs, means we can design services that do this. Inclusive research means we think about all users, not just people who are confident with technology and have the latest kit.
Consider what inclusivity means for your service. It’s about much more than just accessibility: think about language, disability, cognitive impairment, life events, poor literacy / numeracy, socio-economics, health, ethnicity, digital access and capabilities.
Invest effort in reaching groups who wouldn’t normally participate in research, think about non-standard channels for communication. And don’t be shy, make it easy for people to participate, go to where they are, communicate on their terms.
We specialise in running inclusive research, we've done this for NHS, Bristol City Council, Cabinet Office and Policy Lab. If this is an area you’d like to discuss, let’s schedule a meeting. firstname.lastname@example.org