It is assumed that designers can always get the information they need from users in order to build something that meaningfully solves a problem they face. In Linda’s experience as a designer primarily working with underserved communities, that has never worked. She believes people can discover exactly what they need to improve their lives, and that it's the designer's job to bring them into the design process and create experiences to facilitate this discovery for them. By shifting power from designers to users, we start to correct for designers' biases and blindspots, especially if they don't have lived experience with the issue they are trying to solve. By doing so, we also start to change to the design process to be more equitable, inclusive, and reflective of diverse voices.
In this session, we’ll hear stories about imbalances with the design process and how they affected outcomes, reflect on moments of discomfort we have had with our power as designers, and explore tools(both personal and team based) we can start implementing in our work to correct for our biases/blindspots and start shifting power to users.