Good design is inclusive design, but it can be hard to know where to start.

In 2017, as a side project during her time at Automattic, Ashleigh created a set of tips as a jumping-off point for designers to think, work, and craft solutions that support more situations, experiences, and people.

These ended up being sorted into three sections:

  • Broadening perspectives and building empathy.
    The first is about how the individual designer can prepare themself to be more empathetic and inclusive.

  • Bringing diversity into teams and processes.
    The second is about bringing diversity into teams and processes, whether or not the designer is a hiring manager.

  • Building inclusion into designs.
    The third is about building inclusion into designs to make them more functionally inclusive, whether the designer is working in print, digital, or other mediums.

Inclusive Design Cards Top
Inclusive Design Cards

With support from a group of volunteers within Automattic, these tips were fine-tuned and developed into a printed card set and an online page.

To launch the project, Automattic sent a couple thousand packaged sets of cards to the 2017 AIGA Design Conference. There, Ashleigh and a few colleagues gave them away for free from the Automattic booth and the Impact of Inclusion Symposium.


  • Since the launch, the Inclusive Design page resulting form this project has been one of the most highly-trafficked pages from the Automattic Design Team.

  • These cards have been included in the welcome packet for dozens of new designers to Automattic.

  • Hundreds of card sets have been sent to AIGA chapters interested in the resource.

  • Hundreds more card sets were distributed at the 2019 AIGA Design Conference in Pasadena, California.

  • This resource was shared in a talk to Mattel Inc by Ashleigh Axios in 2018.


Social Media Highlights

I picked up a couple packs of these at AIGA and have been showing them around the office! Thank you so much for making these, they’re wonderfully practical and helpful as I try to think more intentionally about inclusivity in design.
— Peter B

The above-linked webpage is no longer maintained by Ashleigh Axios.


September – October 2017

October, 12 2017

While created during my time at Automattic, this project is open source.


  • Ashleigh Axios: concept, project direction & management, copywriting, card design, promotion photography

  • Mel Choyce: web design, graphic design support, accessibility refinements

  • Michelle Weber: copy editing


  • Megan Marcel & Rebecca Collins: print and external distribution coordination

  • Margarita Noriega: launch social media promotion

  • Dominique Rossouw: Automattic distribution coordination

  • Mark Armstrong: editing support

  • Davide Casali: editing support

  • Scott Evans: editing support

  • Adam Becker: 2017 AIGA Design Conference distribution

  • Joan Rho: 2017 AIGA Design Conference distribution

  • John Maeda: social media promotion

  • Cobus Bester: design feedback