June 10 / 47 min

Bonus Episode: Designing for Diversity: Project Inkblot’s Jahan Mantin and Boyuan Gao

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Jahan Mantin and Boyuan Gao

Jahan Mantin and Boyuan Gao

Founders, Project Inkblot
About The Episode

In today’s episode, we talk with Boyuan Gao and Jahan Mantin—the founders of Project Inkblot—who have built a practical framework that can help everyone design for diversity, and can also be a guide for challenging conversations.

We discuss how they see design as an opportunity to bridge the divide and bring people into the conversation about designing products and services that address everyone’s needs, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or religion. We also talk to them about their definition of intent vs. impact, and how to close the loop on making sure your impact is what you intended.

We hope you can use some of their ideas as a way to open the door to difficult conversations, and better understand your colleagues and customers.


  • Understand why the impact of a product can vary greatly from its intent.
  • How design can act as an invitation to participate in difficult conversations.
  • Learn about Project Inkblot’s D4D framework to start building more equitable products, services, and content.


Jahan Mantin and Boyuan Gao are co-founders of Project Inkblot, a team of designers and futurists who partner with companies to build equitable products, services, and content using Design for Diversity™(D4D). D4D is a framework that illuminates blind spots around cultural and racial biases within your design, ideation, and creative processes in order to create better work.

Meet Your Hosts

Aarron Walter
VP of Design Education

Aarron Walter is Director of Product on the COVID Response team at Resolve to Save Lives. Previously, he was VP of Design Education at InVision, and founded the UX practice at Mailchimp where he helped grow the product from a few thousand users to more than 10 million. He’s the author of a number of books, the latest of which is a second edition of Designing for Emotion. Aarron’s design guidance has helped the White House, the US Department of State, and dozens of major corporations, startups, and venture capital firms.

You can find Aarron on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Eli Woolery
Director of Design Education

Eli is the Director of Design Education at InVision. His design career spans both physical and digital products, and he has worked with companies ranging from startups (his own and others) to Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to his background in product and industrial design, he has been a professional photographer and filmmaker. He teaches the senior capstone class Implementation to undergraduate Product Designers at Stanford University. You can find Eli on Twitter and Medium.

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