Monday, September 14, 2009

Everyone Deserves Good Design

When we think of designing for people with disabilities we often think mainly about functionality, but doesn't everyone deserve to be surrounded by the coolest things?

Think about wheel chairs. Most of the people who own a wheel chair are going to spend the rest of their waking life in that chair. Shouldn't it be at least as satisfying as our cars and other highly designed objects? Have you seen a really cool wheel-chair that you would like to have even if you didn't need it?

If you agree, let's test how much you really buy into this idea. What about making really cool designs for people who can't even see them?

Created by Siwei Liu, Tactility is a cell phone for visually impaired users that relies on a Braille keypad and has the basic features of a handset for making and receiving calls. There’s also a slot at the bottom of the phone, allowing it to be worn around the user’s neck or attached to a belt or bag for better accessibility.

While the user may not be able to see the sleek design they can certainly feel it and gain satisfaction from having objects that feel great and work well.

Coming up with designs like this is a good exercise for all students to help them think about everyone's needs for useful objects that also enrich our lives.

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