Universal Design CMDS March 2010 L. Peña
What is Universal Design (UD)? “Universal Design is an approach to the design of all products and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.” Other terms for UD used around the world include: • Design For All, • Inclusive Design, and • Barrier-Free Design Source:http://www.udeducation.org/learn/aboutud.asp
What is the intent of UD? “The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities.” Source: http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/about_ud/about_ud.htm
Principles of UD • Principle 1: Equitable Use - The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities. • Principle 2: Flexibility in Use - The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. • Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive - Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level. • Principle 4: Perceptible information - The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities. • Principle 5: Tolerance for error - The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions. • Principle 6: Low physical effort - The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue. • Principle 7: Size and space for approach and use - Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user's body size, posture, or mobility. Source: http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/about_ud/udprincipleshtmlformat.html#top
Uses of UD? As previously stated, UD is an approach used to design products, communications, and environments. Can UD be used when designing print or web communications? YES! There are numerous printed materials available for consumption by the public (i.e. – books, magazines, brochures, signage, etc.). Many of these are produced in a variety of ways to make them accessible to the public. The same goes for websites. Let’s look at a few examples…
UD for Print Ways to make print accessible • Provide Braille versions of printed materials • Produce large-print publications • Make use of Tactile maps • Translate information into various languages • Provide tactile representations of art Products used to make print accessible • Magnifier machines • Audio recordings of books Michelangelo Image Source: Art Education for the Blind, Inc.
UD for Web Ways to make the Web accessible • Provide auditory cues • Translate information into various languages • Provide ALT tags – used to describe images, graphics, & video • Offer a text equivalent to any information presented on a web page • Make closed-captioning available with videos • Use good contrast to increase legibility Products used to make the web accessible • Voice recognition software • Touch screen keyboards • BigKeys keyboards • HeadMouse Extreme • Screen readers Captioning source: http://www.stonedeafpilots.com/images/2007/October/cartocci.jpg Keyboard source: http://www.activeandable.com/images/sce/aa1021%201.jpg
Conclusion Essentially, UD addresses usability issues. Why is this important? “Worldwide, a confluence of factors is driving the demand for more universally usable products, environments, and services. These factors include the competitive and global nature of modern business, the flourishing communications technology industry, the international disability movement, and the rapidly growing aging and disabled populations all over the world.” The more accessible you make your designs, the more people you will reach. Source: http://www.udeducation.org/learn/aboutud.asp#principles