What is Representative Design?

May 9, 2023

The DEI conversation has tended to focus on hiring / training and marketing. And, unfortunately, too often DEI is treated like social impact, focuses on a single campaign or is put on the back burner when layoffs come around.

Because diversity isn’t yet regularly linked to business goals, product strategy or revenue impact, it’s often viewed as expendable. What should be a three-legged stool has been forced to stand on two legs.

At Jack (Jack Strategy), we see that companies consistently overlook the opportunity to tap into diversity to design better products and better meet consumer needs. We have found that Representative Design, our proprietary approach to connecting diversity and business, creates sustainable growth.

✨What is Representative Design?✨

What is it?

  • ✅ Being keenly aware of who your customer is and then designing for their needs, contexts and real life experiences (not relying on flat demographics and personas)

  • ✅ Done with the communities and with a team that includes people with lived experiences

  • ✅ Connecting the dots between insights, design and business needs

What is it not?

  • ❌ Saying your product is for everyone (very, very few products are)

  • ❌ Only applicable for segments that are viewed as being minorities and underrepresented

  • ❌ A social impact initiative or a campaign (it’s a sustained strategy)

What are the outcomes of Representative Design?

When implemented correctly, Representative Design has a cascade impact:

  1. Companies create products and services that *actually* meet their customers' real needs

  2. These lead to better conversion, increased loyalty, and access to new markets

  3. Businesses are more sustainable and successful 

  4. And, they contribute to a more inclusive and just world

Representative Design can also be applied to a a range of scenarios, from determining who customers are to entering new markets.

When it comes to Representative Design, what’s something you want to know more about? Where could it be useful in your business?