What Is Universal Design?
Universal design is a way of designing spaces, products and services to address the inherent diversity of people by implementing flexibility, choice, and accommodating features in the design. It purposefully increases usability, safety and health of environments, products and systems.
Our world is changing and we are more aware of the variety of demographics and the differences in functional abilities and preferences of humans. Men and women, elders and children, people with disabilities and those without, people of all languages and cultures benefit from universal design.
As a proponent of universal design for all spaces, I incorporate these guiding principles in each design. There are:
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
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.
Universal Design involves designing for inclusivity. By designing for diversity we can create things that are more functional and user friendly.