Elevator 21 was an architecture project I did at university that I have been mussing about lately. For the project, we were tasked to document and improve the overall accessibility of a space on campus. The key objective the university project was to teach universal design in architecture. Lately I have been combing through old HTML code to improve it's web accessibility standards, and I was intrigued by the similarity between web accessibility principles and that of universal design.
I dug up my old drawings from the project to share, and wanted to review the universal design principles to find if any of them could be applied to web design.
According to the Center for Universal Design, the are 7 principles of universal design. The overall goal of universal design as stated is as follows:
The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
1 - Equitable Use
The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
2 - Flexibility in Use
The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
3 - Simple and Intuitive Use
Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
4 - Perceptible Information
The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities.
5 - Tolerance for Error
The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
6 - Low Physical Effort
The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
7 - Size and Space for Approach and Use
Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user's body size, posture, or mobility.