As technologists, one of the hardest things to remember is that we’re not our users and our assumptions can easily extend into our work. If we aren’t careful, we can easily end up designing products based on our assumptions and biases rather than insights from the actual audience. If we want to build better products, we need to include our target audience in the creation process and listen to their feedback every step of the way. In this talk, I’ll share what my team and I learned from two different projects where we worked directly with our audiences - busy moms who were raising a child with autism and Gen-Zs experiencing various forms of bullying. You’ll learn what types of biases to watch out for, how to challenge your own assumptions, how to engage hard-to-reach audiences, and how the user-driven insights we gained uncovered the struggles unique to their community and informed our design decisions and product iterations. Whether or not you work in UX design, this talk will help you create tech solutions that are physically, cognitively and emotionally accessible and ultimately valuable for all humans.