September 8, 2017, by liasf
Why Should We Think about Inclusive Design for Products and Services?
”Inclusive design uses diversity to guide innovation” – Tim Allen
What is inclusive design?
Inclusive design is the process of designing products or services to a diverse range of people with physical disabilities or special needs and delivering a transparent and consistent user experience.
The British Standards Institute (2005) defines inclusive design as:
”The design of mainstream products and/or services that are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible without the need for special adaptation or specialised design.”
By understanding user diversity, your product or service can target a broader section of people with different capabilities, needs and aspirations. Ideally this would be served by creating a single product; however, it could also extend to developing a family or variation of products. As a result, your product or service will be reaching a larger market.
PlayChimp: Game Computer Kit Design
During its research phase, PlayChimp identified the core customer demographics for their product; however, they realised it did not consider user diversity. And consequently, they were excluding people from experiencing the benefits of the product and limiting their customer base and additional sales.
During the design phase for their new game computer, they tested the prototypes on a range of people with different physical capabilities and cognition. And the feedback shaped the game computer to include big push buttons with auditory feedback, a tactile joystick and sensitive colours for the visually impaired etc. The design led to a single product that can be used transparently by a wider customer base.
By including user diversity throughout the design process, a product or service can reach a larger demographic without special adaptations. It can satisfy a variety of customer needs, increase sales and social impact.
Last week, PlayChimp was invited to Parallel 2017 and launched their new low-cost STEM game computer at the festival. Parallel London is a fully accessible family festival that celebrates inclusivity. PlayChimp was in one of over 12 zones, running inclusive game coding workshops and pixel art drawing for people with special needs. Their aim was for everyone to have a fun time, learn simple game coding and more about maths, logic, creativity and soft skills.
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