UD and graphic identity: a research method

Alex Bitterman and Beth Tauke undertook a world-wide survey in 2007 in an effort to establish a universal design icon that could be used and interpreted regardless of language or culture. Australia was included in their original research. The process they used is documented in a more recent publication by Alex Bitterman arguing that this method could be applied to the development and design of places, spaces, services and products. Download Alex’s paper here.

Abstract: Data, both qualitative and quantitative, which represents the physical, cognitive and situational abilities of the global population are inconsistent and are not centrally collected by any one international source. Moreover, the definition of ‘disability’ is relative and is linked uniquely to culture. This fluidity makes difficult the standardization of a definitive definition of disability, problematic to quantify and the goal of universal design elusive. Some statistical estimates place the number of disabled persons between 20 and 60 per cent of the world population, the normalization and aggregation of disability statistics remains a low priority for most international governing bodies and this gap in knowledge impacts the ability of designers to adequately consider the needs and abilities of all users when designing places, spaces, products, services and systems. This research note puts forth one potential testing model for systems of visual communication and information-based graphics and graphic systems for a universal design identity system as well as a discussion of the results from the first use of this testing model.

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Fast Food Restaurants and Universal Design

The IDeA Center at Buffalo, New York has produced a series of videos explaining their research using real participants in real situations.  This one describes the experiences of a range of people undertaking nine regular tasks in four different restaurants.  The video is open captioned.

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Inclusive design in manufacturing

Inclusive design drivers and barriers: a manufacturing perspective from Pakistan

This article published by Loughborough University in UK supports other research in USA, USA and Japan. However, compared to other studies, this study found designers are not as concerned that inclusive design will compromise aesthetics.

ABSTRACT: Developing countries contain a large proportion of the global population and the percentage of older people and people with disabilities is increasing. The demographics are discussed in the context of inclusive design and the drivers and barriers to inclusive design have been identified. Data was collected from 50 manufacturing-related individuals from various industrial sectors in Pakistan. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) relates to inclusive aspects of products, environment or service design, but most respondents either did not know about CSR or did not have a CSR post in their organizations, but 64% had awareness of inclusive design terminology. Continue reading Inclusive design in manufacturing

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Speechless – a talking glove

Lorm HandThis YouTube video shows a wonderful new invention. It is a glove that “talks”. While it is specialised design and not universal design, it reminds us how deaf blind people can extend their ability to participate in everyday activities if and when the rest of the world is designed to include everyone. The video has closed captioning in English.

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Libraries for all types of reader

Every Reader a Library, Every Library its Reader: Designing Responsive Libraries for Our Communities

Overhead view of library shelvesThe National Library Board of Singapore is embracing new ways of reading, learning and creating knowledge. Their aim in revamping their libraries is to be inclusive of learning styles as well as being physically accessible.  

The article includes a case study with illustrations of the re-modelling of an existing library.

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UD and 40 Principles of TRIZ

Homes for Strong Families, Children, Seniors and All Others. How Universal Design, Design for All and Forty Principles of TRIZ Enforce Each Other.

This short paper by Kalevi Rantanen shows how to combine the principles of universal design and design-for-all with the 40 principles of TRIZ. It gives another perspective on how to apply the principles of universal design in a problem solving context.

The 40 Principles of TRIZ are a list of simple, and easy to learn rules for solving technical and non-technical problems quickly and simply. Studying these existing solutions can inspire people to solve new problems and imagine innovative solutions. They show how and where others have successfully eliminated contradictions and take us to the proven, powerful recorded solutions contained in the patent database. These 40 Inventive Principles may be used to help solve both technical and non-technical problems. 

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