Principles of UD Related to Transport

Principle 1: Equitable Use

The design is accessible and usable by people with the widest range of abilities. The image illustrates the ability of a person using a wheelchair to easily and independently access a train carriage. It has three supporting icons to the right of the image, the first is to provide the same means of use for all users, secondly to make the design appealing to all users and lastly to avoid segregating or stigmatizing any users.


Principle 2: Flexibility in Use

The usability of the design should be adaptable to an individual’s ability. The image illustrates the customization aspects of seating arrangements in transport vehicles. The three supporting icons to the left of the image, firstly indicates the accommodation of right- or left-handed access and use, then the ability to offer choice in methods of use and finally to provide adaptability to the user's pace.


Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive Use

The design should be understandable and easily usable, irrespective of an individual’s experience or knowledge of a design. The image illustrates the ease of use and simplicity in online transport services bookings and operations. The three icons to the right of the image indicates the requirement to eliminate unnecessary complexity, secondly to arrange information to be consistent with its importance, and lastly to be consistent with user expectations and intuition.


Principle 4: Perceptible Information

The information which is conveyed to an individual for/from a design is understandable, irrespective of an individual’s sensory capabilities. The image illustrates a bus shelter design with large and easily accessible information. The four icons to the left of the image, indicate the maximized legibility of essential information, then the use of different modes to communicate information readily (including auditory) as well as providing adequate colour contrast between essential information and the surroundings, and lastly information is located at accessible heights.


Principle 5: Tolerance for Error

The design should have lenience for unintentional actions. The image illustrates the learner driver’s “L” sticker as installed on the vehicle as per requirements. The first of the three icons on the right indicate that warnings of hazards and errors should be provided, then to arrange elements to minimize hazards and errors: most used elements, most accessible; hazardous elements eliminated, isolated, or shielded provide fail safe features and the final icon indicates the provision of fail-safe features.


Principle 6: Low Physical Effort

An individual should be able to use minimal effort while interacting with a design, regardless of physical or mental ability. The image illustrates the use of smart card technology to access a system. The first of the three icons on the left indicate the ability to allow user to maintain a neutral body position during use, then to use reasonable operating forces and then to minimize repetitive actions.


Principle 7: Size and Space for Approach and Use

Size and space with regards to using and interacting with a design should be considered, as well as the approaching space around the design. The image illustrates a public transport bus with wide doors to allow easy access. The four icons to the right of the image indicate the need to provide a clear line of sight to important elements for any seated or standing user, then to make reach to all components comfortable for any seated or standing user, the accommodation of variations in hand and grip sizes and finally to provide adequate space for the use of assistive devices or personal assistance.

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If you’d like to find out more about how to include various users in a space, service and environment, please contact us directly, we’d love to hear from you.

As previously mentioned, Universal Design is largely defined as a methodology, a way or means of achieving Universal Access. The first guidelines, the 7 Principles of UD, were developed in 1997 by a working group which consisted of architects, product designers, engineers and environmental design researchers, and was led by the late Ronald Mace. As Inclusive Design’s work includes work on public transport, as areas where UA can always be improved, we have used transport to demonstrate the 7 Principles. For more information on the 7 Principles please refer to The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design.