Supporting older and disabled people’s needs in product, environment and service design
journal contributionposted on 03.09.2013, 15:27 by Ruth Sims, Russell MarshallRussell Marshall, Steve SummerskillSteve Summerskill, Diane GyiDiane Gyi, Keith CaseKeith Case
For the last decade research by the Loughborough Design School in the UK has lead a computer-based tool called HADRIAN has been developed to encourage empathy between design professionals, policy makers, commissioning clients and potential end-users, including people who are older or who may have some form of impairment. The tool provides a means to evaluate the accessibility and inclusiveness of a design by simulating the abilities of older and disabled people and performing virtual user trials where potential barriers introduced by the proposed design can be identified and rectified before the design is implemented in the real world. This paper presents and discusses three validation trials conducted to evaluate the simulation capabilities of HADRIAN compared to real people interacting with the same tasks. Trials included two laboratory-based tasks and one field trial at a railways station.
The research detailed in this paper was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under two initiatives: the Extending Quality of Life initiative (EQUAL) and the Sustainability in the Urban Environment initiative (SUE).