An animated line of icons that represent diverse people welcomes you to Microsoft’s Inclusive Design web page.

Inclusive Design at Microsoft

It’s in our mission statement: empower every person on the planet to achieve more. Designing for inclusivity opens up our experiences and reflects how people adapt to the world around them.

Our inclusive design principles

Recognize exclusion

Exclusion happens when we solve problems using our own biases. As Microsoft designers, we seek out those exclusions, and use them as opportunities to create new ideas and inclusive designs.

Learn from diversity

Human beings are the real experts in adapting to diversity. Inclusive design puts people in the center from the very start of the process, and those fresh, diverse perspectives are the key to true insight.

Solve for one, extend to many

Everyone has abilities, and limits to those abilities. Designing for people with permanent disabilities actually results in designs that benefit people universally. Constraints are a beautiful thing.

Inclusive: A Microsoft design toolkit

The toolkit is a comprehensive resource for any inclusive session you want to lead. Practice new skills, develop new concepts, or create a prototype – the toolkit is made to be retrofitted to your design team’s goals. Download everything here, and start exploring!

A man and a woman collaborate using the inclusive design manual.

Manual

The manual is a comprehensive introduction to the world of inclusive design. Learn the basics and shift your design thinking toward universal solutions.

DOWNLOAD MANUAL (PDF)

Activities

The activity cards and support cards are designed to be integrated into your design process. Jump-start creative thinking and stress-test concepts through an inclusive lens.

DOWNLOAD ACTIVITIES (PDF)
A person references the inclusive design activity cards and a support card.

Videos

These videos are meant to shift your design thinking, and put humans first. We believe empathy is the foundation of inclusive design. When we understand human motivations on a universal scale, we design for a broader, more diverse audience.

Inclusive design in action

At Microsoft, our technology is designed to deliver increased access, reduced friction, and more emotional context to the greatest number of people. We partner across internal teams and with schools, nonprofits, filmmakers, and companies that believe in inclusive design as an approach to creating. Here’s a glimpse into the inclusive work going on at Microsoft:

Inclusive Skype

Skype’s translation tool leverages the power of the written word, showing how technology can enable new connections between cultures separated by distance and disability.

Inclusive Xbox

In an intensive one-week design sprint, Team Xbox came together to reimagine the possibilities in social gaming through the lens of inclusive design.

OneNote Learning Tools

The Microsoft OneNote team is designing amazing products and tools in the education space, using the different ways students learn as a launching pad for innovation.

A man sits in his wheelchair against an evergreen and mountain backdrop.

Microsoft enable

Microsoft is home to industry leaders in accessibility. We lean on them during the entire development process to be sure our products are diverse, inclusive, and universal.

A Microsoft employee tests exploratory technology for inclusive gaming.

Gaming for everyone

Team Xbox believes in the power of inclusive gaming to bring people together and create a better world. See how they’re designing Xbox experiences to empower everyone.

Inclusive the film

A view into how we design for human motivations and needs, expanding interactions to become more inclusive and seeing diversity differently: as a dynamic inspiration for creatives.

An Intro to Inclusive Design

A view into how we design for human motivations and needs. (3:14)

Connecting: Makers

An exploration of interaction design across digital and physical interfaces, examining why we make and how the connected world is changing the nature of creativity. (17:53)

Connecting

An introduction to interaction design featuring the industry’s foremost thought leaders, exploring the possibilities and responsibilities that come in a connected world. (18:07)

Inclusive Cities

The built environment has a rich history that is mindful of human diversity. See how city structures can inspire more thoughtful and accessible designs. (3:00)

Digital Systems

Starting with the idea that “one size fits one,” see how creativity can evolve into digital designs that are more responsive and less biased. (1:26)

Empathy

Empathy is critical to the design process. Understanding how that differs from sympathy is even more powerful. Explore how this develops into participatory, insightful design. (1:50)