We’re inspired by the work of Kat Holmes and her clear articulation of design as needing to be increasingly inclusive — especially in the technology world. Our journey to understand how to best empower inclusive design in products began in 2016 with John Maeda joining Automattic as head of design and inclusion.

Quick scenario: You’re on your phone, going through the onboarding flow for a new app you just downloaded. Helpful illustrations appear, guiding and educating you through the process. Now hold up: are the characters in these illustrations diverse or mainly white? Do they seem to be young tech-oriented millennials, mostly men?
Alice Lee in WordPress.com: Designing An Inclusive Illustration Brand

Automattic is at the beginning of a journey to imagine how design and inclusion are necessarily connected. We’ve been studying the tech ecosystem and how it works inclusively and excludingly through five projects we’ve launched thus far:

  1. Design.blog/ 50 thought leaders contributing essays on design, inclusion, +/- tech in Community, Creativity, Culture, Health, Leadership, and Product.
  2. Design and Exclusion/ A free conference produced by Automattic, Mash-Up Americans, and the MIT Center for Civic Media at the Media Lab.
  3. Inclusive Illustrations/ The illustration vocabulary created by Alice Lee and adopted by WordPress.com to express the broad range of customers that we serve.
  4. Inclusive Design Checklist/ An online and printed resource launched at the 2017 AIGA National Design Conference made available to all attendees.
  5. Project A3/ A collaboration with Alliance Graphique Internationale designers and Paintsville High School in E. Kentucky as featured in Fast Company.

And there are certainly more new things to come!

Kat Holmes with Automattic Designer Ashleigh Axios

We’d love for you to join us as we search for how inclusion and design can become inseparable in technology products of the future.

Apply to Automattic Design in Marketing or Product 👇.

Books we’re reading right now:

technically wrong tragicdesign

Learn more about our approach to craft design at Automattic


Automattic Design meetup in Detroit with entrepreneur Kay Willingham.