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Inclusive Design


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Chapter7: Inclusive Design (Textbook, pdf, 1,571KB)

  • 7.1 User Participation in the Design Process
  • 7.2 Awarenesses in Design Workshops
    • 7.2.1 The Inclusive Design Workshop Process
    • 7.2.2 Why Workshop?
    • 7.2.3 The Systematization of Workshop Management
    • 7.2.4 Design Workshop Management
  • 7.3 Design Workshop Preparation and Step-by-Step Process
    • 7.3.1 A Product Design Workshop Case File
    • 7.3.2 An Information-Based Navigation System Design Workshop Case File
  • 7.4 Design Workshop Analysis Viewpoints and Information Assurance
    • 7.4.1 Viewpoints on Analysis
    • 7.4.2 Viewpoints on Effective Information Sharing
  • 7.5 In Review

What is the relevance of Inclusive Design in Field Informatics

To solve the several problems which occur in the field, thing that suggests a method of solving this problems from an informatics viewpoint and consists of description, prediction, design and communication is field informatics. When the aspects of field or the approach of the information in there divide broadly into 3 scenarios: observation of nature, observation of human activities and innovation, the inclusive design is related to how to foster innovation in social life. Innovation means not only technical innovation, but also includes innovation of a manufacturing system, exploitation of a new market or new resources and organization innovation. The important thing is "who" identifies it as socially meaningful innovation. It is not enough for innovation to cause changes which no one has ever seen in the way which no one has ever seen. it is essential that "co-creation of underlying or nonexistent need" is created in a conversation with an user and an designer or with engineers. to be later achieved acceptable values which the ordinary citizens who make up society do not notice beforehand.


Inclusive Design is a design method to involves includes elderly and disabled users in a design process as "lead users" from the first process of product development, or the stage in which polish design concepts. It is similar to universal design in that aims to create products which can be used by anyone, but it is peculiar to start to design by looking at the lifestyle of a single individual thoroughly for overcoming a difficulty of assuming every people from the start. The various user needs go far beyond researchers' assumption. In information science, especially it is difficult for even users to imagine what kind of needs the user should assume beforehand. Only by involving the user in a design process of informatics, the needs can clarify, and a design process of informatics itself is also involved in the user's life. Such complementary relation is important.

The face-to-face relationship between a user and a designer is determinative in the product design or system design. Many products rely on imagination to the designer's user image and are vulnerable to unexpected use. Without careful treatment to as a daily casual affair with keen senses such as an encounter with the child who stretches himself/herself in front of the vending machine in order to insert money into a slot or the elderly citizen who sees a slit of a slot of the ticket-vending machine and makes up his/her mind which sides he/she insert money into, it can be missed with nobody noticing in most cases. Inclusive design is the method to clarify the "awareness" in the direct communication between a user and a system developer from the viewpoint of each ordinary citizen.

Case Study

In this chapter, we introduce the case file of the inclusive design workshops of a product design and an information-based navigation. As a product design, dealing with "umbrellas" as an example of commodities, we aimed to extract the needs which are able to universalize to many users from an investigation into daily difficulty where a visually-impaired person or a wheelchair user usually holds an umbrella and how open or fold it and an ingenuity. Additionally, unlike physical object, we featured the design of an information-based navigation which is difficult to extract the specific constraint condition. The individual difference of "less-visible" between a complete blindness and an amblyope or the difference of the cognitive map which is due to differences in vision of the wheelchair users and the like promote extraction of a key part in the information-based navigation which the user needs.