Design for All is design tailored to human diversity
Design for All is the intervention into environments,
products and services which aims to ensure that anyone,
including future generations, regardless of age, gender,
capacities or cultural background, can participate in social,
economic, cultural and leisure activities with equal
Design for All/Universal Design should be implemented in all
areas because the human beings are diverse and everyone has
the wish, the need and the right of being independent and
choosing the own life style without facing physical and
El Disseny per a Tothom, Design for All, Universal Design,
Inclusive Design, Conception Universelle, Design d'utenza
ampliata and other similar concepts come from diverse
origins but along the time have been converging to the
common goals described in the
Global Commitment towards a Society for All.
Design for All criteria
- Respectful: it should respect the
diversity of users. Nobody should feel marginalised and
everybody should be able to access it.
- Safe: it should be free of risks to all
users. This means that all elements forming part of an
environment have to be designed with safety in mind.
- Healthy: it should not constitute a
health risk or cause problems to those who suffer from
certain illnesses or allergies. In addition, it should
promote healthy use of spaces and products.
- Functional: it should be designed in
such a way that it can carry out the function for which
it was intended without any problems or difficulties.
- Comprehensible: all users should be
able to orient themselves without difficulty within a
given space, and therefore the following are essential:
- Clear information: use of icons that are common
to different countries, avoiding the use of
words or abbreviations from the local language
which may lead to confusion.
- Spatial distribution: this should be coherent
and functional, avoiding disorientation and
- Sustainable: misuse of natural resources
should be avoided to guarantee that future generations
will have the same opportunities as us to preserve the
- Affordable: anyone should have the
opportunity to enjoy what is provided.
- Appealing: the result should be
emotional and socially acceptable but always bearing in
mind the seven precedent criteria.
Strategies to develop a product or service for All
Design for All not always allows solving all needs with a
single solution that fits everyone. One of these seven
strategies should be chosen:
- To Everyone
A single solution suitable for all potential users.
A single product that meets the different
dimensional or functional requirement of people
by means of devices or mechanisms.
- Products or services range
A range of products and services among which the person
choose the one best fits.
- Compatible with commonly used accessories
Adaptations or not marginalizing alternative
solutions can be provided to guarantee the
compatibility with accessories that a person
must wear or use.
- Premises/Product & complementary service
Not always it will be possible to meet the needs
of users only via a product, a complementary
service will then be necessary.
- Use an alternative solution to the mainly used offering similar benefits
Sometimes the characteristics of some individuals
prevent them from using products or services in
the usual way. A non discriminating alternative
offering equivalent results is then advisable.
- Customized product or service
As is the case for most services provided by
liberal professionals such as doctors or lawyers.