User Experience Researcher
Design a transmedia experience that rallies people on an urgent social cause where the voices of underrepresented groups are expressed
4 weeks | 09.02 – 09.03.2023
This section goes through our decision-making through key moments in research in developing criteria for the concept of our campaign.
Our team’s interest in neurodiversity stemmed from an observation of two deaf/mute students interacting with each other. Despite appearing outwardly “normal,” their interaction prompted us to recognize the experiences and challenges of individuals living in a world built primarily for neurotypical individuals.
Lots of disabled people would argue that their impairments aren’t ‘invisible’ – it’s that no one is looking carefully enough.UAL Disability Services
Worldwide one billion individuals have a disability.
People with disabilities are also often deprived of their right to live independently…Human rights watch
There is a significant amount of research conducted on children with neurodivergent conditions, whereas comparatively less work has been done on adults.
A theme that emerged from the five research papers on the topic of neurodivergence
After considering two options – being inclusive of all neurodivergent expressions and identifying a common thread or selecting only one type – we chose a middle-ground approach, opting to focus on the most well-known types of learning disabilities that we had a good understanding of.
After initially finding the scope of our project to be too broad, given the myriad of challenges faced by people with learning disabilities in their everyday lives, we ultimately narrowed our focus to the workplace.
We wanted to focus on the gaps in the support system for neurodivergent individuals as they transition into adulthood, particularly in the workplace, despite the existence of regulations and company policies.
What makes the cause important and urgent
Despite the shift towards normalisation and advocacy for their rights since the 1970s, there are still large groups of people with mental disabilities today who continue to encounter barriers, prejudices, and even discrimination.
65% do not have accessible applications
61% do not know how to cater for neurodivergents needs
74% lack understanding about neurodiversity
Stats according to Exceptional Individuals for Employers in the UK
The presence of “invisible” barriers in the hiring process and workplace for neurodivergent individuals leads to several problems such as increased unemployment leading to poverty due to missed opportunities. With the rapidly rising cost of living, this becomes a significant issue as it also deprives individuals of opportunities to develop and grow in society.
The conducted interviews with neurodivergent people confirmed what we discovered in the literature:
Our research from multiple sources revealed that the perspectives of neurodivergent individuals will be increasingly important in the future of work where unique perspective, creativity and problem-solving will be at the heart of work.
Not only the accommodation of neurodivergent people does benefit neurotypical individuals making it better for cognitive and physical performance, but it also aligns with the current trend of promoting diversity of perspectives in the workplace.
We defined two categories:
The aforementioned campaign categories tend to emphasize individual-level promoting acceptance rather than addressing the need for societal change.
Neurotypical people of small to medium-sized companies, particularly those involved in human resource management activities and employees.
To develop an outcome that challenges the status quo, we looked at the issue of neurodiversity through the lens of the social model of disability. The model recognizes that people with disabilities are not inherently disadvantaged, but rather, it is the societal structures and attitudes that create barriers for them.
As individuals who are not neurodivergent, we recognized the limitations of our understanding and the potential for oversimplification of the diverse experiences within the neurodivergent community. To avoid this, we incorporated a range of personal stories and research-based information into our approach to challenge the status quo surrounding neurodiversity.
We aimed to fundamentally rethink what the workplace is by involving the perspective of the underrepresented voices of the neurodivergent community we tried to amplify.
The core message: “the unseen life of your work colleague”
Visit the campaign website
In the amount of time, we had we pulled great turnover answering criteria of the brief quite successfully.
Stories we were communicating over each channel and transitioning between them could have benefited from more frequent testing with people, making the whole campaign more cohesive and finished.
We had the artefacts, the stories and the idea, but to me, our project lacked the exponential scalability which could come from some promotional strategy and more social media materials.
We believe that the current narrative around neurodiversity at workplace needs to be reframed and changed.
If you want to see the whole five-week journey of me and the team read my Macro UX blogs!