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De-biasing designs with inclusive intention

McKinsey Design

02 Feb, 5:00 pm

3 h

How do our different identities shape the products and services we use today? Ultimately, to put innovation in the hands of all people, we must infuse inclusive practices into every phase of design and development.

Sponsored by


Designing with underserved groups in mind is not only good design, it's also good business. Through the adoption of inclusive practices, products and services are put in the hands of consumers in untapped and rapidly expanding markets. This drives better customer experiences and loyalty. However, we are far too familiar when well-intentioned products miss the mark. How can we infuse our organizations with an inclusive ethos and empower ourselves to fully understand context, constraints, environments, and user needs as a holistic approach to design?

Who is it for?

Anyone interested in learning more about inclusion & equitable design. Our workshop is grounded in each participant's unique roles and cultural contexts.


In this workshop, you will learn how to acknowledge bias and practice tactical empathy by creating opportunities for dialogue within your organization and your greater community. We will unpack what makes us unique by addressing privilege head on. We will explore internal and external biases and how they affect our everyday experiences. You will discover where biases emerge in each phase of the product development lifecycle by evaluating 2-3 scenarios that shape our lives and livelihoods.

We will review a pressing design scenario, and diagnose potential sources of exclusion along the journey. Each breakout group will take a deep-dive to consider why these features are exclusionary, and where the source of bias comes from. Is it systemic? Situational? Each group will pick features and design a mitigation or replacement feature to de-bias the design.

By diving into these scenarios, we will identify sources of bias, analyze situational traits, and master how to define and prioritize interventions. At the close, each group will share their unique solutions, revealing the areas they tackled and how.

Our hope is for you to proactively identify unintentional exclusion of users and mitigate bias in the design process, before product release.

Meet the speaker

McKinsey Design


McKinsey Design is a global community of designers working side-by-side with our clients to solve some of the world's most complex and important challenges. We partner from strategy to reality to deliver the full business, environmental, and societal value of design. We marry the world’s best creative talent together with McKinsey’s proven strategic, analytical, and technical capabilities. The result is extraordinary experiences, products, and services that delight people, drive growth, and create change that matters for our clients, communities, and society.

The facilitators are

Sara Cinnamon | Design Director

Mehdi Bilgrami | Design Director

Ruth Tupe | Design Director

Madison Berger | Senior Design Researcher

Tinley Melvin | User Research Lead

Lillian Tong | Product Design Lead

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