42 TechnologyCase StudiesDesigning for usability

Designing for usability

With a growing elderly population it pays to design products that are easy for everyone to use.

42 Technology has recently delved deeper into the area of inclusive design to improve product usability for a multinational company.

Inclusive design is the practice of maximising the population that is able to easily use products without the need for special adaptation or specialised design.

Currently over half of the current UK population has at least one minor disability. This is projected to grow further due to the increasing percentage of elderly people in the population.

Products that are designed for fit, able and young-minded users can often be impossible or very frustrating for older or impaired people. Products that are easy to use for the maximum reasonable population have user experience benefits for everybody.

Our recent work included testing products with impaired users to learn more about the key difficulties and listen to their perceptions and understanding of the product. We also stepped into their shoes when we wore impairment simulation gloves and glasses to simulate poor eyesight and arthritis. These tools and inclusive design techniques were developed by our friends at the Engineering Design Centre within the University of Cambridge.

Inclusive design is simply good, valuable design that improves consumer experiences and expands the target market base.