8 Goals of Universal Design

The 7 Principles of Universal Design are well known in the universal design world. They’ve been used as a guide for many years by design professionals. The IDeA Center at the University at Buffalo has taken these principles and made them more practical.

The 8 Goals of Universal Design© help practitioners apply UD and measure outcomes. They cover functional, social and emotional dimensions. Briefly, the 8 Goals are:

        1. Body Fit
        2. Comfort
        3. Awareness
        4. Understanding
        5. Wellness
        6. Social integration
        7. Personalization
        8. Cultural appropriateness

The wording of these goals can be adapted to suit different design contexts. For example, the Everyone Can Play guide adapted the goals to suit the play context:

    • Find: Communicated the purpose and location of play elements and facilities
    • Fit: Provide a range of play opportunities for people of all abilities and sizes.
    • Choose: Enable exciting individual experiences and social interaction.
    • Join In: Create opportunities for everyone to connect.
    • Thrive: Challenge and involve people of all capabilities.
    • Belong; Create a place that’s welcoming and comfortable.

The Goals offer a framework for research, communicating UD and for practical application. The Goals complement the 7 Principles of Universal Design, which still stand as general principles. The IDeA Center was concerned that the principles were based on Western norms. So they added cultural appropriateness to the list. 

The IDeA Center website has more information and some pictures to help explain.

The 8 Goals of Universal Design in pictures.

Steinfeld and Maisel devised the Goals in 2012 © 

Note that the picture for Body Fit is in a museum and was part of a display.