Portland: The city you know either for the interminable titular IGF sketch comedy series or for it’s noticeably disproportionate ratio of Black Lives Matter yard signs to actual black people. However you’ve come to regard our city, you should know that Portland also features a burgeoning independent game development community.
Spearheaded largely by PIGSquad, or the Portland Indie Game Squad, there is an ever expanding schedule of monthly and annual events attended by a steadily growing number of artists, developers, and enthusiasts.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend PIGSquad’s Drink N’ Draw, their largest annual event. Between 15 to 20 indie developers are invited to present games at the event. Attendees are encouraged to play the games and then draw pictures based on their favorite titles, all while everyone is drinking.
Personalizing customer experiences to be more inclusive presents a tremendous opportunity! This can apply to everything from high level brand narratives to specific UX/UI design considerations. Yet, most companies and design teams limit their concept of inclusiveness to accessibility — which is great and we certainly need more of it — but there is creative opportunity to do so much more.
The core challenge of creating inclusive experiences is the same one that accessibility practitioners struggle with constantly. How to help product, design and engineering teams develop empathy for a perspective that they, as individuals, don’t necessarily have. A problem eloquently articulated by Anne Gibson. Our biases and stereotypes are quickly baked into our service design flows and technical stacks. Josh Lovejoy uses Shirley cards to bring the entire notion of “default” into question and how formative that is to the rapidly emerging world of AI/ML.
In the Creative Technology innovation team at Capital One we recently completed a project where personalization was at the heart of making the narrative experience come to life.