Resources for Diversity in Design Assignment (2021)

Phil Trumbo

(I borrowed some review questions and formatting ideas from Matthew Keigley & Ren’ee Mangini)

Students will view and discuss this video of August de los Reyes, the Head of Design & Research at Pinterest, who led the accessibility, diversity, and inclusion initiative at Microsoft. He breaks down the role diversity plays in a team’s ability to craft the best design solutions. He argues that diversity is a critical principle, not a just a quota to achieve.

These are the key takeaways-

“Diversity is about a spectrum of thoughts, experiences, approaches.”

“In Product development today, it’s accepted that there is Diversity of Expertise. We understand the need for different roles- We have people for multiple functions Design, Engineering, Engineering, Program Management, Marketing…..That is diversity and no one questions it.”

The Value of Designing for Diversity

  1. You prepare better for engagement with other team members with different life experiences and viewpoints.
  2. You anticipate that there will be differences. It forces you to clarify rationale for design thought and the decisions that you make. Anticipating different points of view is a good thing.
  3. It sets the expectation that it will require greater effort to bring a group to consensus or at least agree to disagree.

“By having diversity of ethnicity, gender, age or others, it makes the team stronger and the outcome more innovative.”

Students will read and discuss this link- 8 Best Practices for Designing Infographics for Diversity and Inclusion–Why diversity and inclusion are important in information design.

Students will read and discuss this link: 14 Black Inventors, You Probably Didn’t Know About

Reading will include 14 Black Inventors You Probably Didn’t Know About. In the class survey of milestone innovators and designers, draw on historically underrepresented inventors and designers and showcase their successes, of which there have been many.

Assignment Guidelines

After watching the August de los Reyes video and reading 8 Best Practices for Designing Infographics for Diversity and Inclusion and 14 Black Inventors You Probably Didn’t Know About, answer the following. Your answers will need to be posted to the discussion board directly (not as an attachment).

  • What are four new things that you learned?
  • What information did you find the most surprising and why?
  • What is need for diversity, inclusion, and representation in design ?
  • Why should companies care about diversity or representation?
  • What are the challenges to fostering inclusion in the team projects?
  • How does diversity improve team dynamics and design of experiences and products?
  • How can we make design team collaboration more inclusive?
  • How can you help everyone value the talents and differences that each member brings to a project?
  • Tell us about some of your personal experiences related to diversity and inclusion at work, school and in society.

Discussion guidelines

You must respond to at least two (2) other student’s posts on their answers. These responses should include how their answer made them think differently, things they did not consider, or suggestions they liked and would add if they could to their answer. You can also provide suggestions, questions you have, additional thoughts, and/or feedback.



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Diversity and Social Justice – Faculty Guide (2022 Edition) Copyright © 2021 by Phil Trumbo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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