Disruptive Innovation = When people who didn’t use a product start using it.
Accessibility = When people who could not (and hence, did not) use a product start using it.
Business people think hard about disruptive innovation and growth, they care about the economy. And designers think hard about accessible design, they care about individuals. And these ideas are related.
We do not need products which just replace other products for a user, but those which convert non-users to users.
And that brings me to Figma.
Figma is an interface design tool which enables you to create user interface designs for apps and websites in a browser.
Sounds simple. But this is the first (popular) tool to do so. All other popular interface design tools are native apps. Sketch, among the most popular, works only on Macs, and hence is inaccessible to all Windows users. And the classic design tools by Adobe have been a bit inaccessible as they have a steep learning curve.
Where I currently work, I use Sketch as I am the only full time designer. I work with 5 PMs and 3 POs (let us ignore the difference between a Product Manager and a Product Owner).
So a few days back, I was playing around with Figma and shared some designs with them – just the browser link. And I got almost a physical reaction from some of them. They felt they were doing design. Within few hours, they were editing text, manipulating input boxes, copying and pasting elements, and yes, they were doing design – something in them was unleashed.
Earlier, our process had silos. We’d have some discussions, and then they would ‘leave it to me’ as they thought they didn’t understand the mysterious arts of product design. They (and I) didn’t even imagine things otherwise. They would do ‘product things’ and I would do ‘design things’.
But getting their hands on the file in Figma changed everything.
It converted the non-users into users.
They now have Figma licences, and want to learn by doing. I am happy to help with the details.
And I am happy to witness how a disruptive innovation unfolds in real time.