Manufacturing a UD design process

logo of IAUD Japan with four stick people in primary colours and the year 2006A straightforward introduction to this paper from Japan argues that UD should have been thought of a long time ago, but wasn’t. So inclusive thinking hasn’t been part of conventional design processes. This poses difficulties for industrial designers, and if being inclusive doesn’t fit their processes, there is a tendency for designers to put UD in the “too hard” basket. The authors have developed a design process model that takes designers from conventional design processes to one that is more inclusive. The title of the paper is Universal Design Models of Development Lifecycle Process. Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

“UD should originally have been the basic concept behind manufacturing, but lack of recognition until now has created a large gap between the ideal and reality. Hence, many of the responsibilities will fall on the UD designers. As a result, designers will request from the UD promoters only a list of minimum UD requirements and asking them to settle for simple, offhand solutions to avoid developmental delays. In response, the UD promoters will emphasize the need to implement more than the minimum requirements by pointing out the difficulties of overcoming conflicts that arise from various user demands. Convincing the designers is a hard task. Currently there are very few examples or methods to explain the differences between conventional and UD design processes. Many times the designers think that UD design process will be the same as conventional ones, or they give up because they believe numerous UD knowledge and experiences are necessary.”

The paper then goes on to describe three ways of re-thinking the design process. Although somewhat technical in parts, it is another view of how to think about designing universally.

The paper was presented at the 2nd International Conference for Universal Design in Kyoto 2006 (just released on Research Gate). It was attended by 14,000 participants from 29 countries. Their next conference will be held in Nagoya December 2016. The graphic is from the 2006 Conference.