The drive for Inclusivity – Part 2
Inclusivity in Product Design
In the realm of product design, the concept of inclusivity requires us to create products that are accessible, flexible, and usable to the general population regardless of differences among users.
Inclusive design does not require the differently-abled to purchase another version of the same product to suit their situation. Instead, it addresses the diversity that exists in the target population. It is something that is planned for and created to accommodate the needs of a vast majority of individuals.
If we use Microsoft's inclusive design principles, all disabilities are considered in making design decisions. Based on this design guide, there are three basic types of disabilities leading to exclusion:
- Permanent - e.g. blind or deaf and mute individuals
- Temporary - e.g. wearing crutches during rehabilitation
- Situational - e.g. parents with babies who sometimes don't have free hands to do other things
- Court - e.g.noise office that disturbs individuals concentration or hearing ability
By identifying these disabilities, designers can work on improving product design to address most, if not all, disabilities. Although no single design can claim to provide solutions for everyone, by identifying how a prototype may exclude certain groups, designers can make their products more broadly accessible.
Hence, inclusive design provides solutions for ease of use to the widest range of users — both differently-abled and not.
We use this approach to design at ALMA. We strive to be inclusive in all aspects of life, including the homeware products we create.
Our aim is that every product at ALMA can serve multiple purposes for the greatest number of people.
To know what we mean, please check out our products on www.almaideas.com.au.