Accessibility evaluation: Assistive tools for design activity in product development

Emilene Zitkus, Patrick Langdon, P. John Clarkson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The application of inclusive design theory, principles and methods to the design
process is a strategy used to enhance accessibility for a wider range of people, including the disabled and the elderly. A growing number of companies, design consultancies and retailers are aware of the demographic changes in the population, and the need for designing for inclusivity. However, for many design teams, time and budget constraints present challenges in the application of the principles of inclusive design when developing new products. This paper examines a variety of design evaluation tools and discusses the approach they
provide to apply accessibility principles to new product development. These tools are thus classified into three groups: 1) user-centred techniques, 2) design trials techniques and 3) virtual techniques. This is followed by a cross-comparison of the methods and characteristics of each presented tool to the needs and preferences of the designer teams in the industrial context. The adoption of accessibility evaluation tools may depend on the impact caused by their implementation into the design process and the design activity. The paper assesses some of the challenges imposed by the industry followed by a presentation of future possibilities to cope with them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Sustainable Intelligent Manufacturing
Subtitle of host publicationSIM 2011
EditorsHelena Bartolo, N. Alves, P. J. Bartolo
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Conference on Sustainable Intelligent Manufacturing - Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Leiria, Portugal
Duration: 29 Jun 20111 Jul 2011 (Link to Conference Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Sustainable Intelligent Manufacturing
Abbreviated titleSIM 2011
Internet address


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