Using Maslow’s Hierarchy to Design for Minorities
Kathy Wang presented “Using Maslow’s Hierarchy to Design for Minorities” at UX Camp Spring 2021. Enjoy!
Product Designer, IBM
Kathy is the US-born daughter of Chinese-born parents. As an Asian-American, she experienced her childhood as a third culture kid. That meant always being afraid to be “too Asian,” as if she had to maintain a certain amount of “whiteness” to fit in, never mind that she was born and raised in the suburbs of Maryland. But that also meant being open-minded, and understanding that there are people from other parts of the world, because that’s where her family is from as well. That also meant finding a home in people, rather than places.
As a product designer, Kathy leverages her skills to make an impact in social issues that are close to her heart (racial equity, restorative justice, and animal welfare). She graduated from Cornell University, with her bachelors degree in China and Asia Pacific Studies, and her masters in Information Science and UX Design. Kathy is currently a product designer at IBM, based in Austin, TX.
The following transcript very likely contains typographical errors. Please forgive any mistakes!
Thanks everyone for coming today. So today, I’ll be talking about how to use a psychological framework, someone may have heard it, some may have no mass hierarchy designed for minorities, and as Brad mentioned, you can join the live discussion at Slack and 2-pathan. I am also on Twitter at enormous, I’m gonna start by sharing the person’s story at in, and this happened almost over a year though it is March 2020, most of you remember as the beginning of Connery, one went on lock down a prostate, and it was on a Tuesday, and I wanted to do a last minute rush on each part, which is the period Rochester in Austin, Texas. And I contend, I remember I was in my apartment in my mask, and I walk on stairs to wait in front of my apartment, and I see that you be pull up, I see the box on and I… With the driver. And right as I walk up to the car, I can click
And it took me a bit, but I realized that the locators… And the driver rolled down his window. And he asked, Are you sick? And I realized he was talking about my mask that I was wearing, and I said, No, I’m not sick, and I responded, and why are you wearing a mask? You should really listen to this A Caitlin
And at what happened? And at this point, I was shocked into silence.
And so I remember machida got into the car, and I remember sitting in the back and away. The emotions hit me. I remember feeling embarrassed in my head, I was so I a bad person for wearing a mask. And keep in mind, this is at a time when the C-team was really indifferent about what I used to do and asking, I felt angry once mentioned that China didn’t listen and look what happened, I felt… I deal targeting me, this, I also just draft… I wanted to say something, but I also didn’t wanna cast drama, I didn’t wanna send all intent on his part.
And so in the end, actually embarrassment one over.
I actually ended up taking off the mask and I out being in the vaccine uses is very comfortable for the rest for that 15-minute ride.
And as you can tell, holy, because I’m telling the story today.
This ancient state for a while, it wasn’t just a few days, I thought about it for a couple of weeks of the… Right. And I went back and forth between just get over it. It’s not a big failure, making a big… Out of nothing. And I should have said something, I should have stood up for myself. And
So it was just this constant to the war in my head, I’m not intertwined, it was really tough, and it was a really comfortable situation to have been to have the content when we re-playing my head.
So I tell you about this incident today, because it’s… One of the things that inspired me and a team of eight others add voices. So avocets is a platform where you can actually track relate incidents in the neighborhood, we can learn about how you can respond to the confidence, how others have responded to them, and also filter Danby, whether it’s physical text or visual Moreton. And so now I wanna turn it to you guys, has a micro regression or waste related insect ever happened to you? And to answer, you can go to mentee dot com, just type it in your browser and use the code on the screen, so I’m gonna wait 20 seconds for everyone in the audience to go ahead and do that.
So I’m seeing an Coogan, I give a more seconds or more picea answer again, you can get a mentor dot com and use this code on the screen in 45… We want 70 and we’ll be using… I’ll be using this as a way to enact with everyone for divestitures nation. So
I’m going to share a screen and show what everyone has en…
Okay, so it looks like
The majority or yeah, the majority of people have expansion incident on Micronesian, and for some people, it was unclear whether it’s insulated, and I find that this is a common pattern that I’ve seen in all just open friends or be in social media forums, a lot of times, there’s a gray area, it’s not always black in white, or whether something is related a race or it’s the other person’s having a bad day or… Just a lot of other expendable. I’m gonna ask you to actually think back on one of those race incidents or microbes, and I’m gonna ask you, how did it make you feel and how… Reflecting back on this incident, what are the kind of emotions that were running through you when it happened or even askin on stands… I’m seeing a lot of answers and the responses pop up, people are talking… Saying it made me feel like an outsider. Embarrassed, confused. I screwed up somehow. Yeah, a lot of times when you are the victim of an incident or microdose are the one who feels embarrassed, a confused… And that’s really unfortunate. I’m not about after that is an angry than sideways of negative emotions.
I completely relate a small cone disrespected. Shocked. Angry. Yeah, I think these are a lot of the emotions that went through as these negative emotions from the statues all the way to angry, shot, frustrated. Cool, I’m gonna go back to the site. And so, hearing you all talk about how you feel after realities are microaggressions, I wanna bring it back to, you actually are using research sessions that we conducted with Alanis and so 93% abdication, and we found that people mentioned I’ve gotten the… Were really from… That is a common one that a lot of people, myself included, have had experienced… Someone also mentioned, I got only as my food smell different, and so is that like these kinds of things can start from a really young age and really lead a impression on you. And the one that really stuck with me the most was, it feels normal in a way, right, Harikrishna incidents feel normal to be worn away, and that means that we have a lot of work to do, and so with this, I want to help everyone here is this a hook that I found very helpful for my team collate feats and shape their own research and to design for minorities, and when I say design for minorities, everything that we’re designing for, it involves signing for minorities, and we wanna make our products as inclusive and as successive is possible.
So for it won a local set with everyone, what is a minority? So how do you defer that… So the traditional definition into people is race, legend or other activist ICs are lesser numbers in the main group. So for example, Asians were not percentage of the population of the American population, and to allegations… And so by that definition of agents are a Renoir, this also have a syslog Cal layer to it, so those who experience related this adventure compared to members of the dominant social group, so for example, Asians are… Might likely to experience certain social stereotypes, agents are more likely to experience now, certain actual physical Hester life with the rise and attire as compared to the Dominican hesitations, so by that physiological definition, Asians with a minority… So do some anaemia ropes, a PEP of people who I want their members and who also explains the is a damage and as compared to members of the donation
Going into mass hierarchy of needs. So this is eventually a theory in psychology, and all it says is that humans be dissatisfied the lower level needs, of physiological needs before they satisfy their higher level of this, so that’s like the shame and some actualization. And so to say really simply basically an example, if I’m having trouble surviving than getting my basic needs met, is I’m having trouble than my bills or cutting through on the table, then I’m probably not going to be trying to figure out how to reach self-actualization and Ashley, potential as a human being. So
Again, your lower level needs like physiological safety net, I met before you are trying to achieve a cements or self-actualization, so I’m gonna go over each one in detail now.
So the first year is pretty touchy logically, so that’s water, you shelter… All your basis in May. Now, there is a huge distort and minorities access to basic things like food and shelter, and that’s a very serious profit, but today I’ll be just more of the second proceeds, and
So the first one is banned, so this include stuff like, there’s no security employment. So I have, I know are my next page I was coming from, so I have that financial to employment. Do I feel safe walking around my neighborhood, these are all safe. And I know… Because of, for example, of the Lyon Asian hat constantly. I know some of my friends career way around with them now, and the parks and streets and public spaces that they used to walk around and pay out in a feel on edge, or they’re visiting them and they can’t really enjoy themselves anymore. And I can’t stress enough damage that this has on under mental helle thoughts and really plowed and during this constant state of anxiety.
And so from all voices, we wanted to address this need, and so we have a data visualization on the platform where you can search for violating your neighborhood is a biotin or outer city, and you can filter by whether happened at a restaurant or at a park, or what kind of racial infinitesimal or where besieger it is. And when we actually went ahead and test is, we found that people wouldn’t just search up their own places, they also search up a out of their family who were half across the country.
And just those to show this for security. This need to be aware of your surroundings. It’s very much a… Among minority groups, we at least wanna be aware of what’s going on around us, and I Nero’s what is is really striving to help to do next, so covered something into Marin belonging. So this is having those friendships that that’s a connection to family, to the people who you consider close to it, and so this… When it pertains to many groups to minorities, you can ask other people, I can reach out to info. Experience a race-related incident, if I experience a Lucretia.
We’re social Antibes after on and leave a Lancia ion social actions that get through time and tough situations. So for example, from a personal, personal example, after that incident with Verve while and dishes are very quiet, I needed some time to just sit with my emotion and we get over on my own. I actually eventually realized that I really wanted to reach out to my family and my triage, their thoughts on it. And I think part of that was I wanted to connect with people who knew I was coming from as an Asian-American, and it’s always nice to be… To have others relate to me and also maybe we didn’t care, it expires.
So I wanna turn it back on and ask, what did you see after the show? I’m gonna give everyone a second to get on… Mentees it up and answer the question a coastal. Everyone on some of the responses that we have. So
It looks like people are kinda fall into two camps, right, so there’s some to do a thing and that’s totally okay, rural, I told him to wait for that because I wanted to sit on it, and sometimes the moment’s gone before you can actually do something about it… And then there are others who talk, talk to reach out to this grant to the family as the other experiences and to validate. Mine, my friend got angry sheet on it, so I spent a lot of time to be with my friends and being a dean, become their reason… Right, yeah, these are all totally valid action to take after… After an incident. So I’m going to get this slide and I wanna share… We ask the same questions, you are research or dissidents, and we need also to be able to relate to others. So a lot of you mentioned it is helpful to that to sit on it, sometimes you just can’t do anything about it. Other times, people have gone out and shared it with vendor family, and so I’ll tell you a little bit about what a participant set… So someone mentioned on tiktok, every day people will share the experiences and how they dealt with it, how they relate to it.
And I think in this case, social media can really be powerful this way because you get exchange experiences on platform. Right, and I can’t tell you who the number of times I’ve been in a common section and I had people… I’ve seen people say, I’m like, Oh, I thought I was the only one who did this. Or experience this. Someone also mentioned, I thought he was just joking around, so he’s talking about a microaggression that happened to him, but after we invoice about structure aim, I wanna read and see other people are going through this, and so again, this is being able to reach out to others if you’ve seen as others have experienced similar things, and I completely relate. I actually wanted to share that I run a story earlier to speak on I… Habit really gave me a sense of comfort. So it was this story right here, and essentially it’s about a region American who was out of furniture store, and a white man who was standing, the store that this come from is out of control, and we need to send them back to where the king groundwater clearly directing that at her.
But what really resonated me about this for this story was the last paragraph it, she says I was in such top that I couldn’t respond, I was really upset on myself after the fact, have been silent, but I didn’t know what to do and I was very… I escalate.
Right? And so really, this man, you feel like how similar my incident had been to her, and how important and more important, how similar are the actions are, and that I wasn’t the on one, but it was okay to feel this way. That really gave him a sense of comfort, and so with Alex voices, we wanna share these stories.
You want people to know that, Hey, you’re not alone in experiencing these things and send a… There’s a whole community of people who understand and to relate and we know exactly what it’s like, and so now that covers in the long unique, and then we go into a theme needs.
Those thing is about finding strengths, about having confidence.
So specifically, when it comes to basic grasses or racial incidents in finding strength and the confidence to stand up for yourself when it’s appropriate, when it’s safe to do…
And so for me, I realized after reading and hearing about others experiences and how they react with, I realized that I had the evolution that I don’t want… I need to be embarrassed about this thing, it wasn’t specifically targeted towards me, it just happened that I was there at the time during this over instant, but now I actually… I had a new problem.
I realized that if I was ever to be in that situation again, I still wouldn’t know what to do, and I probably end up going through the same inner conflict that I experienced before, and so it became just this… It would become this toxic cycle where the incident, what happened, I would scope about it, talk about it, and then to what happened again, and I still… When I would go to an exact thing, I realized I don’t wanna get into that toxic cycle, and so I want to tenanted ask, would you know what to do if Akihito, the racial consideration? If that happen again, I’m gonna give everyone a few seconds to go ahead and do antanana. So it looks like we have some responses, so it looks like the majority of people… They wouldn’t know how to handle it.
I think it’s great on for those who do know what to say, what to do, how to respond to it, but it does like the majority… A few in the audience. Still, she don’t know how to handle it, and I think that’s something that a lot of the ACA, that’s perfectly normal. ’cause that’s not something that you learn in school.
How to respond to these tough and potentially met these situations. So I want to then turn back and talk about what our research… We didnt mentioned when we invested these research sessions.
And we know that we can… It helpful to be able to learn from others experiences. So a lot of them didn’t know necessarily how to handle these constitutions, but they did find it helpful to be Belen from others.
For example, one person mentioned it would help me in the future by recognizing it at work, recognizing it at work, or seeing if I’m discriminated against. And I think this is a really big point. One of the things that prevents people from responding the way that they want to respond is they have trouble identifying whether something is actually a progression or distribution, or if it’s just somebody tell me about day or they didn’t have any… Illinois, you spend five minutes trying to escape for the situation, you’re gonna lose the opportunity to respond on the first LCS, this is where it’s helpful to be able to see how other times identified and responded to those ransome ne else I mentioned when some people reported it some people want to quit, and these are as important for us to read and share it, so… Absolutely, if these do come down to it and we wanna take legal action, it’s always important to do your research and ideally be able to learn from others experiences.
The overall sentiment was I weren’t guidance on how to behave, people have experiences they’re familiar, unfortunately with Russians, but they never really learned like, how exactly do I respond to a micro-question? And that’s exactly how I felt. So I actually went online and I literally googled How do a micro questions.
And so this is a resource I… Online, and I think a really great thing about this resource is that it shows you’ve word-for word, what you can say in response to my profession.
A lot of the resources, the water, well meaning… They’re very generic, they’re like, Oh, acknowledge the feeling I eat in ten from Impact. So this research is really great and that it provides a template for you to be able to go off of and respond if you ever face my professional incident ever… Yet another thing that really helped me was really specifically about people experiences, so this is from a Facebook group on the scene here, and so this is essentially a story that someone told, and he talked about how he was on a networking session and a woman asked him Where you from… And she said like These Temescal, and then the women ask where your parents from it.
And I think the really great part about this story was, how do you describe the way you sounded…
So he goes on to explain what message she was sending off, he said, I’m sorry, it’s not really appropriate, simply president is you’re not done here, you’re very strict with the point, very set, and then you separate into… From impact, and what that means is he says, I understand you weren’t trying to be me, I’m not offended, I just wanted to put it out there to dress a winter… Many people have it. And so the fact that this happened is your great template to work off of, and somebody ever says something, a antisense, you practice it in your head if ever it does happen and then you’ll know what to say, and so that’s a kind of growth and learning that we wanna grow it. Just, I like voices.
While we want to tortricidae that you often see meds, that’s an important awareness.
We also wanna share that the smaller micro questions, everything, like help people navigate these kinds of conversations, not say situations, I answer like, How do I handle this ever happen at… And so that’s a semifinal, you going to self, a factual satin, which is, that’s a very top of experiment, and so this is being the best that you can be, and a lot of times this involves going back to the community. And so at this point, you know how to handle to situation now, and you wanna help others do the same.
And so on advice, we provide an ability for you to submit a story on the platform, and so eventually we do want to turn into a crowd, so chaloner people are constantly exchanging these pastors and being vulnerable, so others can learn from their experiences, how each other as a community.
So now there’s a lot of information, so I wanna sum it up really quickly, and we have physiological needs, bites are your bias, we have safety needs, being aware of your surroundings, knowing what’s going on, I just resell, but also for your family is Reno and belonging. Knowing that you’re not the only one, that there are other people who have experienced similar things, and it’s okay to be uncomfortable, but you don’t need to be embarrassed about these kind of times because there are other people who have experience actuation esteem, knowing how to handle this if it ever happens again, again, this is not stuff that they say in school… Right, and so being edited in for learning from other people’s experiences and self-actualization is, at this point, you know how to handle the situation, you wanna be able to spread the knowledge and at the learning and truth, you are being too other people. And so now I think this is actually my favorite question… Where are you on mass here? And if you go and vent have included that we need all the descriptions
Not… And with where you are specifically as a higher…
I think I minimisin. So on my pant, we have some people on safety venue about your surrounding power, be able to welcome on in your neighborhood and in state, that’s definitely a concern that some or minorities experience. Making sure you’re not the only one. It looks like a lot of people are at the same stages. I wanna know how to handle this if I ever have been educated, being informed, and then it’s great that some of you are at that self-actualization point, you know how to handle petitions now, you wanna be able to spread that knowledge, people how others… That’s great. Awesomen. So all in all, I hope today I helped you learn how to apply and use and so remote inform and shape your own research and to design for minorities. I think it’s a point you remember that we’re always designing for one single, want to make our design inclusive, accessible, and in general, people are complex, we have all these different levels of needs and we’re trying to achieve different needs at different times, and it’s our responsibility as Sinai who design products. So thank you for coming. I want to shut out our Facebook and Instagram if you want to check out what our voices is doing, we also put resources and educational content.