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Another Thing to Learn About – Inclusive Design


The British Standards Institute (2005) defines inclusive design as: ‘The design of mainstream products and/or services that are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible … without the need for special adaptation or specialized design.’

With that being said, Inclusive design doesn’t mean one-design-fits-all. It’s all about designing a diversity of ways for people to interact and participate so that everyone can belong. Inclusive design focuses on the vast diversity of people and the impact this must have on design decisions.

Inclusive Design Principles are about putting people first. Needs change. People change. Inclusive design is about designing for the needs of people with all abilities, whether permanent, temporary, situational, or in flux.

This discussion with Fast Company provides an interesting working definition of inclusive design.

It is necessary to distinguish inclusive design from related concepts such as accessibility and universal design. They are not as similar as you might think. Accessibility can be defined as the qualities that make an experience open to all, as well as a professional discipline aimed at achieving same.

It’s important to note that accessibility is an attribute, while inclusive design is a method. The distinction is real. While practicing inclusive design should make a product more accessible, it’s not a process for meeting all accessibility standards. The two concepts should be used in tandem to ensure that user experiences not only comply with standards, but are truly usable and open to everyone.

Much more information about Inclusive Design and descriptions and examples of seven Inclusive Design Principles can be found at https://inclusivedesignprinciples.org/#introduction

The principles include: