Allied Voices: Designing for Marginalized Communities

  • NOVEMBER 10, 2020, 1:30PM - 2:30PM
  • How do you use your storytelling powers to amplify the voices of the marginalized? We will walk you through a case study of how a six-person team designed Allied Voices, a platform to help users handle race-related incidents, both as victims and allies.

Virtual Event


Allied Voices: Designing for Marginalized Communities

Have you ever found yourself at a loss for what to say in response to "I don't understand why we need to point out race...we're all humans here"? Have you ever stood in line at the coffee shop, and overheard a heated argument, but went back and forth between wanting to stand up for the person being yelled at and thinking it was none of your business? Have you ever caught yourself in a situation where you just couldn't tell if someone was being racist or not?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you'll understand why Allied Voices was formed. We're a platform that enables you to navigate your racial landscape by reading other people's stories of similar incidents, and how they handled them.

Join us as we dive into how an Uber ride initially inspired the project, how we addressed the issue of coming off as tone-deaf in initially only addressing Asian-American struggles, how we took user trust into consideration (as we made design decisions on the way we displayed different types of content), and what surprising takeaways we found through rigorous user testing.

You'll walk away with a new understanding of how to use your design skills for social impact, and how to approach, and even embrace, uncomfortable conversations as a designer.

  • Kathy Wang, 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.
  • David Cha, Product Manager, Allied Voices
  • David is one of the founding members of Allied Voices. He helped create the platform with the mission of amplifying the voices of the marginalized and increasing accessibility to educational resources. Outside of Allied Voices, you can find David playing chess or perfecting his swing on the golf course.
  • Virtual Event
  • DAY
  • Tuesday, November 10th
  • TIME
  • 1:30PM - 2:30PM
  • Kathy Wang
  • Designers who are interested in learning about how to design for marginalized communities
  • Free