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A Practical Inclusive Design Approach

A Practical Inclusive Design Approach

Clarkson, John and Keates, Simeon ORCID: 0000-0002-2826-672X (2001) A Practical Inclusive Design Approach. In: International Conference on Inclusive Design and Communications (INCLUDE 2001), 18 - 20 April 2001, Royal College of Art, London, UK.

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Designers instinctively design for able-bodied users and are either unaware of
the needs of users with different capabilities, or do not know how to accommodate
their needs into the design cycle. Hence, there is an urgent need for design methods,
based on a better understanding of age and ability related factors, which will lead
to a minimising of the impact of impairments and thereby extend quality life.
The aim of this paper is to present a methodological design approach for
implementing inclusive design. A summary of the principal methods for designing
for users with different capabilities is given along with a description of a model,
the Inclusive Design Cube, that displays how the different approaches are
complementary and can provide complete population coverage. Building on the
concept of the user pyramid design approach (Benktzon, 1993), the authors have
developed a model that relates capability level, population profile and suitable
design approach in a simple graphical format. The resultant model is the inclusive
design cube (IDC) (Keates and Clarkson, 1999). Each axis on the cube represents
user capability and the enclosed volumes reflect population coverage. The IDC is a
very potent visualisation tool and communicates the needs of different sections of
the population. However, for practical implementation of inclusive design practices,
it is necessary to have an accompanying rigorous methodology.
Developing a usable product interface for wider user capabilities involves
understanding the fundamental nature of the interaction. Typical interaction with
an interface consists of the user perceiving the output from the product (perception),
deciding a course of action (cognition) and the implementing the response (motor
function) (Card et al., 1983). These steps relate directly to the user’s sensory,
cognitive and motor capabilities respectively. Building on this and Nielsen’s usability
heuristics (Nielsen and Mack, 1993), a design approach has been developed, where
each level is accompanied by user trial evaluations before progression to the next
The 7-level approach has been successfully applied to the design of a software
interface for the control of an interactive, assistive technology robot (Clarkson et al,
1999) and the evaluation of an information point for use in post offices. The latter
shall be presented as a case study to demonstrate how application of the 7-level
approach would have affected its overall usability. Using the 7-level approach
and the Inclusive Design Cube, serious usability and accessibility shortfalls were
identified that are being addressed in the information point re-design.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: [1] Include 2001 Conference Book Abstracts from all the papers presented, biographies of the keynote speakers and a full programme of the conference. As given to conference delegates attending (revised edition) Details: A4 portrait, 106pp, illustrated Editor: John Bound, Roger Coleman Designer: Margaret Durkan
Uncontrolled Keywords: practical inclusive design approach
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:31

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