When we create products or communicate to the public we have a responsibility to mirror the world and its people. As designers or marketing professionals we stand in a privileged position of a voice that dictates what other people see when going online. It is up to us to ensure that the representation of people is equal.
Even though this representation when searching for stock photos on sites like Unsplash or Pexel has improved over the years, the problem still exists. Let’s change that by sharing the inclusive spaces online and make the internet more intersectional inclusive.
I recently joined a talk where people were asked to share their best UX tips and tricks, and the amazing Trina Moore Pervall kindly shared her many tips on intersectional inclusive stock photos. So I gathered her tips and added some of my own and created this list that hopefully will make it easier for you to make better choices.
WOCinTechChat gathers stock photos of women of colour in tech and its purpose is to raise the visible representation of women of colour engaging in technical tasks and in tech roles.
Mapbox, inspired by WOCinTechChat, created this collection to promote the visibility of queer and gender-nonconforming (GNC) people in technology. You can read more about this project.
Nappys mission is to provide beautiful, high-res photos of black and brown people so that companies can be more purposeful about the representation in their communication.
The Gender Spectrum Collection is described as a library of photos featuring trans and non-binary models going beyond the clichés of putting on makeup and holding the trans flag. I highly recommend reading the Guidelines before digging into the beautiful photos.
The Disabled and Here collection was created with the purpose to provide free and inclusive stock photos celebrating disabled Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC). Remember to take a look at the Usage page where they state how captions should be used.
Disability:IN shares free disability-inclusive photography so that businesses can achieve disability inclusion and equality. Just make sure you credit Disability:IN.
The Natural Women Collection (Free with sign up) represents women in all different ways in every stage of life. Beautiful!
AllGo focuses on increasing the representation of plus-size people and all their photos are free to use. They remind us that ”Despite the fact that two-thirds of women in the U.S. are plus-size, just two percent of women shown in media are plus-size.” Let’s change that!
Senior Living Photography has created a wide collection of photos and videos to increase the online presence of senior citizens.
UKBlackTech mission is to create the most diverse tech sector in the world. They have created a collection of free-to-use stock photos representing black people in tech.
Humaaans is a collection of illustration elements that allows you to create your own humaaan. Different bodies, skin, and hair colour makes it great to use! Like the copy says ”We are humaaan after all”.
So what can you do to make a change for a better representation?
1. Analyze your own visual communications and include images of all people in your UX work including everything from websites to presentation material.
2. Talk about inclusive communication at your workplace. Are you doing a good job or can you improve?
3. Share this blogpost with your whole team so that everybody can save these recourses and make better choices!
I hope you found this list valuable and please comment below if you have more tips like these. The more we share the bigger impact we make.
*Intersectionality is a framework explaining how people are often disadvantaged by multiple sources of oppression: their race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and other identity markers. For example, a woman who is able-bodied doesn’t face the same discrimination as a woman with a disability.
Photo: Disabled And Here.