What is inclusive design?
It is a way of designing products and places that everyone can use irrespective of their circumstance.
The way places are designed affects our ability to move, see, hear and communicate effectively. Inclusive design aims to remove the barriers that create undue effort and separation. If a space, building, service or product is designed inclusively it enables everyone to participate equally, confidently and independently in everyday activities.
When you are designing:
- do you know who you are designing for?
- do you know who the potential end user is?
- do you know what they need?
- do you know what they would like?
- do you know their capabilities?
- have you learned lessons from other projects?
Conducting research with the potential end user does not cost much and can help to ensure that you get it right. Inclusive design can actually lead to innovation as designers can use it to ‘think outside the box’ to produce exciting mainstream designs. Many people face exclusion in many ways throughout our lives – many of us have a disability at some point whether that is permanent or temporary, however inclusive design goes beyond disability.
Further information on aspects of inclusive design are available from our Inclusive Design newsletter section.