Microsoft is pioneering a fresh approach to design thinking, known as ‘inclusive design’. This method challenges the traditional perspective of designing for the average user, instead opting to cater for those with specific needs. By focusing on the outliers, the concept aims to create products that are universally accessible.

This innovative approach was birthed from a realisation that designing for the average user can, paradoxically, exclude a large demographic. Microsoft’s inclusive design is based on the premise that by meeting the needs of the few, you inherently meet the needs of the many.

The company has already seen success with this method. Its Xbox Adaptive Controller, designed for gamers with limited mobility, has been well received. The controller has also been appreciated by able-bodied users for its customisability.

Microsoft’s inclusive design is not just about physical products. The company is also applying this approach to its software, aiming to make it more universally accessible. This radical new design thinking could potentially transform the way products are designed, making them more accessible for everyone.

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