Universal Design Approach of eSticky: how it works
The Universal Design Approach used by eSticky is a process of creating products that are easily accessible even by people with disabilities. These products are able to meet individual preferences and abilities, communicate necessary information effectively-regardless of the user’s environmental conditions or sensory capabilities-and can be approached, reached, manipulated, and used regardless of the individual’s body size, posture, or mobility.
Application of Universal Design Approach principles minimizes the need for assistive technologies, resulting in products that are compatible with assistive technologies and making products usable by everyone, not just people with disabilities, without the need for adaptations or specialized designs.
Universal Design Approach: maximum accessibility for all
This type of approach results in product functionality that benefits a variety of users, not just people with disabilities.
To better understand this concept, we can give a small example.
Sidewalk barrier abatement, designed to make sidewalks and streets accessible to wheelchair users, are now often used by children on skateboards, parents with strollers, and delivery personnel with rolling carts. Similarly, a door that opens automatically when someone approaches is more accessible to everyone, including young children, workers with busy hands, and people using walkers or wheelchairs.
Usually, products are designed to be more suitable for the average user. In contrast, products designed according to the principles of the Universal Design Approach are designed to be usable by everyone and to the maximum extent possible.
Universal Design Approach: the 7 principles
At the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University, a group of architects, product designers, engineers and environmental design researchers have established a set of universal design principles to provide guidance in the design of environments, communications and products. Specifically, seven principles were identified.
- Fair use
Design is useful and marketable even for people with different abilities. For example, a Web site designed to be accessible to everyone, including blind people, uses this very principle.
- Flexibility of use
The design adapts to a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. An example is a museum that allows visitors to choose between reading or listening to a description of the contents of a display case.
- Simple and intuitive use
The use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or level of concentration. The science lab equipment with clear and intuitive control keys is a good example of the application of this principle.
- Perceptible information
Design effectively communicates necessary information to the user, regardless of environmental conditions or the user’s sensory abilities. An example of using this principle is when television programming projected in noisy public areas includes captions.
- Tolerance for error
Design minimizes the dangers and negative consequences of accidental or unintended actions. An example of a product that applies this principle is an educational software program that provides cues when the user makes an inappropriate selection.
- Low physical effort
The design can be used efficiently and comfortably without fatigue. Doors that are easy to open by people with a wide variety of physical characteristics perfectly demonstrate the application of this principle.
- Size and space for approach and use
Appropriate size and space are provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility.
eSticky: living the days independently
eSticky is a real digital post-it note that helps older people remember their daily commitments and small appointments. The purpose of the project is to support people with memory problems so that they maintain their independent living. For this reason, we have adopted the Universal Design Approach.
Specifically, here are what are the three main features of eSticky technology:
- User friendly: our systems are designed for older people, so they will have very simple structure and graphics;
- Remote control: the cloud services offered by the home server and managed by its middleware will simplify remote connection and management of the eSticky displays by the caregiver and family members;
- Battery: the displays will be based on the Android operating system and feature 3G, WI-FI and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) connectivity.
Together to help people get a new perspective.