I’m Claudine, the new visual designer at 88 Creative. For my first post I wanted to do an infographic about something that I’m passionate about: universal design.
With an aging population, integrating universal design should be a priority. The idea first appeared in the 60′s and was describes by Ronald L. Mace as “the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.”
Universal design evolved from accessible design, a design process that addresses the needs of people with disabilities. But design that works for people with disabilities should also work for everyone; it’s good design, period. The goal is inclusive design, which doesn’t need adaptation. Universal design takes into account the full range of human diversity, including physical, perceptual and cognitive abilities, as well as different body sizes and shapes.
The University of California expounds the following seven principles that make up universal design:
1. Equitable use
2. Flexibility in use
3. Simple and intuitive
4. Perception information
5. Tolerance for error
6. Low physical effort
7. Size and space for approach and use
If universal design offers the same opportunities for everybody, the brand benefits as well. When the product has a broader, more diverse user base of satisfied customers, the brand has a strong point of differentiation.
By designing for the diversity around us, we can create things that are more functional and more user-friendly for everyone. I would encourage everyone to try looking at the world from the perspective of universal design.
Claudine Casabonne is a visual designer at 88 Creative. Follow her on Twitter at @CaClaudine.