Micropedia of Microaggressions | Communication Arts

Responses by Zulu Alpha Kilo.

Background: The mission of The Micropedia is to be an online tool where people can go to learn about microaggressions and their impact. It’s for anyone to find information, whether they’ve observed, experienced or caused a microaggression. It’s a judgment-free resource that aims to be educational to help prevent microaggressions from occurring.

Design thinking: The Micropedia was born of the desire to have a single, source-based resource accessible to the general public. It’s a tool that defines the harm behind microaggression and includes examples from pop culture, media and real life to help people better understand and relate to the entries.

Challenges: Ensuring everything was credible, fact-based and unbiased. That’s why it was so important that our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion partners had an integral role in the final content.

Favorite details: We’re most proud of the accessibility of both the design and the content itself. We wanted to create a resource that anyone can use and learn from. The website itself is very simplistic and easy to use, which will appeal to a wide range of people.

New lessons: Every day on this project was a process of learning. Microaggressions are very complex and difficult to identify, so we quickly learned that we also had to check in with experts to communicate the impact of each microaggression clearly.

Visual influences: We know microaggressions are hard to identify, and people often question their experiences. So we wanted to take an approach that felt very factual and archival. We looked to channel the credibility of an encyclopedia, and this influence naturally extended to our design decisions. For the UI, we opted for a clean, straightforward layout. We used a monospace typeface, alluding to one you’d see used in official documents. A markup system of highlights, underlines and circles indicates the problematic corrections that need to be made. Entries were organized by category volumes like an encyclopedia, so users could easily browse and search content. We chose a more restrained color palette to feel neutral and imply the subtle nature of microaggressions, with pops of red highlighting the harm they cause. Every element was purposefully crafted into a coherent visual identity to guide users through The Micropedia.


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