In the fast-paced world of technology and product development, the pursuit of innovation and excellence often takes centre stage. We frequently hear phrases like “seize the day” and “chase your dreams,” inspiring us to aim high. However, it’s crucial to remember the importance of a more thoughtful, deliberate approach. Having had the privilege of working in tech companies like Meesho and Unacademy before joining Mudrex, I’ve learned the significance of balance and inclusivity in product design, particularly from a woman’s perspective.
At both Meesho and Mudrex, I had the honour of being the first woman to join the product teams. This unique experience provided me with invaluable insights. Meesho, in particular, was a platform primarily used by female resellers, and interacting with these users allowed me to step into their shoes and truly understand their perspectives, needs, and challenges.
Now, let’s explore the importance of diversity in shaping user-centred design and how women can contribute to creating inclusive solutions.
Diverse Perspectives Fuel Innovation
In today’s world, technology is part of everything we do. Products and services, from online shopping to digital learning platforms and investment management, are designed to cater to a wide range of users. To ensure that these products are not just functional but also user-friendly and inclusive, diverse perspectives are crucial.
When product teams consist of individuals with varied backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints, they are better equipped to anticipate the diverse needs of their user base. This diversity fosters innovation, leading to products that not only meet but exceed user expectations. Women bring a unique perspective to the table, as they often have distinct insights into user behaviour and preferences, particularly in industries where women are the primary users.
Harper Lee’s quote from “To Kill a Mockingbird” resonates here: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Empathy and Inclusivity
One of the key strengths that women bring to the realm of product development is empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, and it’s a cornerstone of user-centered design. When women participate in product design, they often excel in empathizing with users, which allows them to identify pain points and design solutions that address real-world problems.
Inclusivity is another crucial aspect of product design. Women, by virtue of their diverse experiences, can advocate for the inclusion of features that cater to a broader audience. Whether it’s ensuring accessibility for all or creating user interfaces that resonate with different demographics, women play a pivotal role in making products truly inclusive.
Collaboration and Communication
Effective communication and collaboration are essential in product development. Women, with their natural communication skills, often excel in conveying ideas, facilitating discussions, and building consensus within cross-functional teams. This ability to foster collaboration is vital for aligning diverse teams towards a common goal.
Moreover, women often bring a holistic approach to problem-solving. They consider not only the technical aspects of a product but also its social and cultural implications. This holistic approach ensures that products are not just functional but also ethically sound and socially responsible.
In conclusion, women have a significant role to play in shaping user-centred design and building inclusive products. Their unique perspectives, empathy, inclusivity, communication skills, and holistic approach contribute to the creation of products that cater to a wide range of users. As the first woman to join Mudrex’s product team, I am excited to be part of a company that values diversity and inclusivity in product development.
Let us continue to celebrate diversity and empower women in tech, for their contributions are essential in shaping a more inclusive and innovative future.