The authors, a working group of architects, product designers, engineers and environmental design researchers, collaborated to establish the following Principles of Universal Design to guide a wide range of design disciplines including environments, products, and communications.
These seven universal design principles may be applied to evaluate existing designs, guide the design process and educate both designers and consumers about the characteristics of more usable products and environments.
The Principles of Universal Design are presented here, in the following format: name of the principle, intended to be a concise and easily remembered statement of the key concept embodied in the principle; definition of the principle, a brief description of the principle's primary directive for design; and guidelines, a list of the key elements that should be present in a design which adheres to the principle ( Note: All guidelines may not be relevant to all design.)
The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
Use of design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities.
The design minimize hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user's body size, posture or mobility.
The Principles of Universal Design address only universally usable design, while the practice of design involves more than consideration for usability.
Designers must also incorporate other considerations such as economic, engineering, cultural, gender, and environmental concerns in their design processes.
Thee Principles offer designers guidance to better integrate features that meet the needs of as many users as possible. Complied by advocates of universal design, listed in alphabetical order:
Betty Rose Connell, Mike Jones, Ron Mace, Jim Mueller, Abir Mullick, Elaine Ostroff, Jon Sanford, Ed Steinfeld, Molly Story, and Gregg Vanderheiden, Copyright 1997 NC State University, The Center for Universal Design