Community stories

This is a space for sharing positive stories to help promote and improve equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in usability testing. We share stories from users of products and services, creators of products and services, usability researchers, academics, and advocates for underrepresented groups. If you would like to join the conversation, email Sophie Rutter s.rutter@sheffield.ac.uk, or tweet us @embedEDI.

By Riley Yeomans

Riley reflects on how he uses the tools available to him to navigate the world as a visually impaired person. He explores how aids have improved his life in practical terms but also how they have helped him to develop his confidence in many diverse situations. What he teaches us about common misconceptions about people with visual impairments is invaluable when thinking about the experiences of our participants in usability studies.

By Dr Anne Collis

Anne discusses how technology and video conference software became a tool for shifting power imbalances, against the backdrop of the pandemic. The topics in Anne's community story (empowering people and the power dynamics in research) were frequently reflected in the early analysis of the Embed EDI project.

By Laura Owers

Laura shares her dual perspective as a disabled Occupational Therapist, with both personal and professional experience of the ‘art’ of living as a disabled person. Laura highlights links between Occupational Therapy core theory, living as a disabled person, and usability testing - and what we can learn from this. Laura also highlights the importance of the individual, suggesting tangible and practical strategies for embedding a person-centred and inclusive approach to practice within usability testing.

By Dr Emma Fields

Throughout the project, user researchers and end users both discussed the idea that EDI practice can feel like a tick box exercise. Emma explores this same issue in a marketing and communications context.

By Erin Tilley

Erin discusses her experiences of recruitment as a person with Multiple Sclerosis. She sheds light on how taxing the process can be: do I and when do I disclose my disability? Erin's lived experience provides clear lessons for researchers to consider when recruiting participants to usability studies.

By Dr Rachel Dewar-Haggart

Rachel shares many of the advantages and pitfalls of patient and public involvement (PPI) in healthcare, with illuminating examples and their potential impact. We think there are clear parallels to be drawn between PPI and effective coproduction in usability research.

By Helen McKenna-Aspell

Helen shares with us the importance of organisational culture in creating inclusive environments where the needs and requirements of all team members are respected. It takes effort, awareness and time: the museum where Helen works has the awareness, has made the effort and taken the time. It can be done! Let's do it for usability testing, too.

Helen McKenna-Aspell