Shaping Product Decisions Through Inclusive Design
Stacey Swinehart Ganderson and Rachel Power
Join Stacey Swinehart Ganderson and Rachel Power as they to talk about what they think of as a way to make all of our lives better at work. They think of it as inclusive design — helping teams embrace an inclusive mindset so they can more effectively align and collaborate throughout the product development lifecycle.
Stacey Swinehart Ganderson has a background in design and inclusion that started at a young age, influenced by a father who taught design at Carnegie Mellon and a mother who was a speech & language pathologist for students with cognitive, developmental, and physical disabilities. She’s currently a senior design director at Realtor.com, heading the foundational design services and systems team (inclusive design and accessibility, content design, and design systems). She built the entire foundational design area from the ground up, starting with the inclusive design and accessibility program. She and her husband moved to Austin from the Bay area in 2014 and they enjoy hiking, traveling, photography, and visiting with family. Stacey is also an avid equestrian and has been riding for over 37 years, and her horse’s name is Mia.
Rachel Power began her UX career at PayPal as a content designer on the merchant mobile app team, and she’s also worked at Wayfair and Bank of America. She’s currently working as a principal inclusive designer at Realtor.com. Rachel lives near Boston in Plymouth, MA with her adorable doggo Bernie and two new recruits, Toulouse and Berlioz, rescue kittens — 2 brothers who turned out to be fancy.
Before the little screens in our pockets existed, Rachel already worked in the experiential realm producing immersive branded experiences, like film, live events, and other forms of visual and verbal storytelling — often on giant screens — for clients like Levi’s, Gap, HP, Microsoft, Dell, Tropicana and more. Her background in photojournalism, brand strategy and consumer behavior research made her a design thinker as the skills she developed over the years were in observation, connecting the dots, editing, knowing when to let go, when to follow a hunch, and how to uncover motivations that drive behavior.
Her focus with all of this work always began with understanding the audience first as the way to create contextually relevant, compelling, memorable experiences that connect people with a brand by delivering tangible and intangible value that led to repeat engagement. The opportunity she had to work with Professor Jerry Zaltman, author of How Customers Think, and train in his qualitative consumer behavior methodology, ZMET, which enables us to uncover the motivations that drive user behavior, further helped hone her design thinking skills to solve customer experiences from the perspective of the user in the context of a business problem to solve.