There is a new drive for design that caters for all types of physical differences while underlining the need for inclusive design. Inclusive design is, as the research and development centre IDRC at the OCAD University puts it: design that considers the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference. According to data from Leesman Index only 54% of over 70, 000 people feel that the design of their organisation’s workplace enables them to work productively, which is a definite sign that the time for designing in smarter ways for the many is more than ripe. Realisation and acceptance of the need for inclusive design is the first step, and implementing it the next – and it is this implementation that will create a diverse and thus more innovative, productive and sustainable workplace.

PRINCIPLE 1 Design for simple, intuitive use. Create pleasing experiences for the user, without them needing to constantly consult an instruction manual.

PRINCIPLE 2 Consider the edges of the population, not just the centre. Include the widest range of age, gender and ability.

PRINCIPLE 3 Be empathetic. Walk in someone else’s shoes. Different people will have different experiences of your product – try to see things from their perspective.

PRINCIPLE 4 Ergonomics is emotional as well as functional. What people feel about the product is as important as how it performs.

PRINCIPLE 5 Design for flexible use. Everything is connected, so design with versatility in mind.

PRINCIPLE 6 Keep good design good, regardless of the above principles. Make attractive aesthetics a core value, so users are not stigmatised.

This article has been taken from the Kinnarps Trend Report 2015. Click here to download the full research paper.