for Real People
who is this thing designed for, anyway?" How many
times have we asked ourselves this question when struggling
to open a package, read a label, or operate a new product? Design
is supposed to fit the "average" user. If we're not
lucky enough to be average, we have to adapt to the design.
Depending on how well we can adapt, these struggles can be just
minor annoyances or exhausting, frustrating, even dangerous
During the course of our lives, we find ourselves less able
to adapt to design. It's harder to read small print in a dark
room, and harder to open a door while carrying groceries.
As we age, these everyday tasks may
become harder still.
Design" means design for people of all ages and abilities,
not just "average" people. No design fits everyone
all the time, but designing for the largest possible number
of users is a goal worth striving for. For this reason, some
feel that it's more appropriate to describe it as a process
of "Universal Designing".
Design of Products
"Good Grips", kitchen utensils originally designed
in 1989 for users with arthritis, quickly became popular among
cooks of all ages and abilities. By 2000, Oxo products had reached
$60 million in annual sales.
Read More ...
site is about the practice of Universal Design - designing for people
of all ages and abilities, both in design
of consumer products and in workplace
design and job accommodation.
site provides reasons why Universal Design
is important, Principles of
Universal Design, and case examples of how Universal Design
is improving the usability of products
and workplaces for people of
all ages and abilities.
site shares more than 20 years of experience in design and disability
consulting at J.L. Mueller, Inc. and from
colleagues, publications, and other resources around the world.
J. L. Mueller, Inc.
(703) 378-5079 Fax
4717 Walney Knoll Ct.
Chantilly, VA 20151