Designing accessible technology by P. John Clarkson, P. Langdon, P. Robinson

By P. John Clarkson, P. Langdon, P. Robinson

This publication was once inspired by way of the 3rd Cambridge Workshop sequence on common entry and Assistive know-how held in April 2006; the individuals signify top researchers within the fields of Inclusive layout, Rehabilitation Robotics, common entry and Assistive know-how. Contributions specialize in layout matters for a extra inclusive international; permitting laptop entry and the advance of recent applied sciences; assistive know-how and rehabilitation robotics; and knowing clients and related to them in design.

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Sample text

More recently, in the UK, Dong et al. (2004) surveyed a range of manufacturers, retailers and design consultancies to identify their perceived drivers and barriers to inclusive design. They describe how the barriers fall into the three main categories of perception, technical and organisational and discuss how these barriers vary from sector to sector. Results from these studies indicate some of the key barriers and drivers to inclusive design. However, they also show that there are many different kinds of these, varying from company to company.

The areas prioritised for further research were driven by industrial knowledge gaps and a focus on those users identified as being most excluded by current equipment designs. Notably, clear and easy access to equipment, ease of use of adjustments (particularly for unilateral use), simplicity of programming and use of multi-sensory information on userproduct interfaces (audio feedback, tactile labelling and effective use of colour) were targeted for further investigation. Increasingly specific user testing was employed to address the need for greater clarity and quantification of user requirements in these areas.

There is, therefore, clearly a drive to develop more inclusive design solutions (Yelding, 2003) that address users’ wants and needs during the design process. However, companies and their designers do not always know how to meet these needs. There is a lack of clarity about the characteristics of the user population, and a lack of knowledge about how to 42 Goodman, Langdon and Clarkson address these in design. If there are going to be truly accessible and usable products in the marketplace, it is imperative to provide companies and designers with more information and guidance on inclusive design.

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