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Identifying contextual factors in inclusive design

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journal contribution
posted on 05.08.2008 by Edward Elton, Colette Nicolle, Val Mitchell
Defining the context in which a product is to be used is a fundamental part of any design process. Defining and exploring context in a meaningful way can lead to the design of more inclusive products; however, there is a tendency, especially in the early design stages, to use informal, exploratory lightweight methods, e.g., brainstorming, discussion, product searches, etc. (Goodman et al., 2006). Such methods may fail to supply designers with detailed information regarding users and the context in which products are used. The reasons designers do not probe further have been shown in some cases to be a result of limited detail within project briefs and time and budgetary constraints (Goodman et al., 2006; Chancellor of the Exchequer, 2005). A failure to consider context can lead to the development of products that place increased demand upon the user. The overall purpose of this initial study was to explore context and how it impacts upon the demands placed on the user’s capabilities during product use (Goodman and Waller, 2007). The research will ultimately lead to the development of a design resource which will raise a greater level of context awareness during the design process. At the same time, such a resource needs to be seen as supplementing, but not replacing, whatever real user research the designer’s constraints will allow.

History

School

  • Design

Citation

ELTON, E., NICOLLE, C.A. and MTCHELL, V., 2008. Identifying contextual factors in inclusive design. IN: Clarkson, P. ... et al (eds). Proceedings of the 4th Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology, [CWUAAT], Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, 14-16 April

Publisher

CWUAAT

Publication date

2008

Notes

This is a conference paper. It was presented at CWUAAT 2008: http://rehab-www.eng.cam.ac.uk/cwuaat/

ISSN

0963-5432

Language

en

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