What are the basic principles of Universal Design?
The original concept of universal design was created by architect and industrial designer, and wheelchair user, Ronald Mace.
In 1997, Ronald led a working group of architects, product designers, engineers, and environmental design researchers, to create the 7 principles of universal design to help guide the design process of environments, products and communications. Here’s a summary of the principles.
- Principle 1: Equitable Use. The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
- Principle 2: Flexibility in Use. The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
- Principle 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.
- Principle 4: Perceptible Information. The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.
- Principle 5: Tolerance for Error. The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
- Principle 6: Low Physical Effort. The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
- Principle 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.