Some weeks back I came across an article on Medium entitled 1 Powerful Way to Boost Your Creativity by Ravi Shankar Rajan which introduced the term ‘Expert-Generalist’ to me. As I read it I gave out a yelp of ‘YES! Yes, that’s it!’ and did a little jig to myself (not unusual behaviour). I had finally found something that seemed to explain and pull together my varied background, both in my career and personal life, giving some clarity to my scrambled mind. So let’s take a somewhat meandering look at what this means for me and my career.
In the spirit of both Mental Health Week and World Accessibility Day being this week, I have put together some musings about designing services for those with mental health issues and how we can make interaction with our designs as easy as possible for them if we just think a little differently to consider their take on our designs.
Whilst awareness of designing for accessibility is increasing, I find there is still a real skew in awareness of considering users with physical issues such as being blind, deaf, or a wheelchair user, whilst consideration of mental or behavioural illnesses (also often referred to as invisible disabilities) hover quietly in the background. As with any other illness or disability, design should not exclude any groups of users. By looking at usability for wide audiences, we make a product more useable for everybody and reduce the stigma and inconvenience for some where this is much needed.
There are many mental illnesses and behavioural issues that can make it equally difficult to interact with a service, due to the impact on concentration and attention spans, comprehension, memory and information processing. Think ADHD, MS, Alzheimers, depression, PTSD, anxiety and more.
Here are 4 simple things for you to consider in your design work to help these user groups.
Unlikely Genius specialises in content, learning and graphic design.