A design for life
journal contributionposted on 10.10.2012 by Russell Marshall, Steve Summerskill
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
The social, ethical, legislative and business cases for products, services and environments that are accessible and inclusive are well established. Yet, ‘good design’ is perhaps not as common as it might be, with many products being designed without due care and attention to the needs of all users. However, practitioners (designers, ergonomists, transport or urban environment planners etc. ) are increasingly ‘on board’ with this need and so what then leads to designs still being produced that incorporate short-sighted and exclusive decision making? The complexity of design should not be underestimated and often designers are managing a complex array of stakeholder requirements. Some requirements may be conflicting and demand different directions for the design. Essentially what is required is more support for these practitioners in ways to identify, understand and accommodate the needs, desires and aspirations of as many users as is possible.