Meet The Normals – Adventures in Universal Design


>>Meet Harry Normal, Harry is a father
of the family, he is a stay at home dad. Meet Mary Normal, Mary is the mother
of the family, she is a manager in the local supermarket. Meet PJ Normal,
PJ is the baby of the family. Meet Betty Normal, Betty is the granny
of the Normal family, she has arthritis and has lately experienced mild hearing
and vision loss, but she is very active and uses a cane to get around. She loves to play the Wii
regularly with her grandkids. Meet Susie Normal, Susie is 18 years
old, she is going to college, she is rarely seen without her iPod and guitar. Meet Johnny Normal, Johnny is 10
years old, uses a wheelchair and loves history and music. Today will be a treat as Betty
is bringing the family for a pizza. First we need to get the bus,
so let’s check the bus times. Oh dear! This seems to be very complicated. Now we’ve got it, let’s go. For many of us, we never think twice
about how we use technology, travel, move in and out of buildings or use the
web but really when you think about it we all often encounter problems doing
these things and accept this as a part of
life. Consider what it is like for the Normals
getting on the bus and their experiences. Firstly let’s look at
the bus shelter location. Are things in the way? Is the bus shelter big enough? Simple things like seating, access to
information when you need it in a way that makes sense. There are other environmental factors
such as light, noise and so on and the design of the bus itself. Thanks to good universal
design it doesn’t have to be like this. In order to build a working shelter
that suits the needs of everyone, we need the right team. So let’s meet the team. First off I’d like you to meet
Siobhan, she is a software developer. Darragh our civil engineer, Rory is
our architect and Paul our industrial
designer. Creating the easy-to-use universally
designed bus shelter is a collaborative and fun process, right guys? Let’s see how you do it. Firstly we have the discover phase;
where all the designers keep an open mind, deferring any decision making
until they have considered a range of alternatives and
approaches to the design. They need to have collected
as much information as feasible, including new or
existing feedback from people. They need to look at the project
from the perspective of the end users. So who are the end
users and what do they need? Well a great way to find out is to
involve the end user in the process, for things such as focus groups,
where we ask them what they think. Then we have the definition phase;
where the designers must decide what they want the design to do. To help achieve this, they must keep
in mind the range of people that will be using the design, outputs from the
discover phase and consider what they want the design to do. Then we have the development phase;
where the designers look at actualising the needs they have
identified in the previous stage. This stage typically includes the
development of simple preliminary designs and asking
people what they think. Lastly we have the delivery phase;
where the designers see if it all works. They may get experts
to look at their final designs. Another great way to test the design
is through user testing of prototypes, where we test early versions of our
products and users with a diverse range of abilities to see what works. If something doesn’t work, the designers
can go back to an earlier phase and try
again. The universal design
process with the four phases: Discover, define, develop, deliver. Now we have applied the universal
design process to designing the bus shelter, let’s go back and
see what happens this time. Thanks to universal design the Normals
can go about their day in a world that accommodates us all. Universal design is the design of a
building or place, product, service or technology so they can be accessed,
understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless
of their age, size, ablility or disability. Subtitles by Premier Captioning &
Realtime Ltd. www.pcr.ie

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