Empathy and inclusion in digital design: Interview with Yas Inukai, director of digital business at Tokyo Disney Resort

As members of the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products cast bring magical experiences around the world, we are pleased to share their stories and perspectives. Today we would like to introduce you to Yas Inukai, digital business director at Tokyo Disney Resort, as he shares his thoughts on digital design and what it means to bring the key to inclusion to life as one of our core principles.

Yas began his journey at Disney in 2006 and has worked in various roles around the world in digital services, marketing and more. After leading digital design teams creating mobile apps and websites for Disney Parks in the US, Yas returned to Japan in 2017 to lead digital experiences keeping in mind the unique needs of Tokyo Disney Resort guests. This work was in close collaboration with Oriental Land Company (OLC), as Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are owned and operated by Oriental Land Co., Ltd. One of his first projects was the design of the Tokyo Disney Resort mobile app, a new offering. for the complex at that time.

“We started a digital transformation that connected two cultures, two languages ​​and often multiple time zones,” he said of his early days at the resort. “My job was not to bring the app as it is in Tokyo, but to focus on the unique needs of our guests at Tokyo Disney Resort.”

To make these digital experiences intuitive and perfect for local guests, Yas and OLC teams focus on empathy-based design. He believes this relates well to Japanese culture, which places great value on the consideration of others, and on Disney’s legendary guest service. The team begins by asking questions about how to make customer experiences even more special through technology. Together, Yas and the team of designers and technologists explore how and where guests find value through the mobile app to plan and navigate their visit, whether it’s buying tickets, reserving dining, or finding the next magical moment to experience.

“Empathy is the first step in the design thinking framework. Helps focus on guests “


Explore how digital tools can add convenience and flexibility, allowing guests to enjoy more time with their friends and family. “Start by getting to know your guests”.

Yas Inukai

Prioritizing empathy and inclusion in the digital tool design process also encourages collaboration between diverse teams, he said, bringing together diverse perspectives. Working alongside different partners in the complex and around the world helps the team develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diversity of our clients and reflect on the digital experiences we offer.. “Regardless of the needs or origin of the guests, our job is always to walk in their shoes first. We all bring together very, very valuable learnings and experiences. This helps to formulate a clear picture of our guests and their goals. “

In April, we introduced a new inclusion key, as part of a reinvented 5 keys, the plan our cast members use to interact with guests, collaborate together, and imagine new products and experiences. For Yas, the key to inclusion also has a very personal meaning. “I love the key to inclusion. I have a son who is part of the autism spectrum and I see our guests from all over the world who have all their own personal relationships with our brands. For me, inclusion includes neurodiversity. It includes understanding Disney memories of different guests and the different experiences they have in different regions. ”

Ultimately, Yas says he is excited about the future of technology and how thinking even can create powerful collaboration and fantastic experiences for our guests. “It’s worth celebrating the amount of technology that has become a user-oriented industry in the last decade,” he said. “Diversity enriches our perspectives. The more diverse we are, the more inclusive products we can offer our guests with diverse needs and backgrounds around the world. ”

For more stories about our cast members, follow @DisneyParks on all social media channels and stay tuned to Disney Cast Life.

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