Accessibility Design Industrial

Inclusive Design

When I talk to my design students about inclusive design, there is no snickering, not even a hint of doubt. They simply take it for granted that it’s part of a designer’s job today.

Rochelle Steiner in How Design for One Turns Into Design for All

Design Industrial


I had an idea today for a stove that turns off burners if no weight is atop. Yes, I left the burner on one night when I went out. Necessity is the mother of invention, so perhaps forgetfulness is a distant cousin.

There is already a patent on file, but I can’t find a manufacturer that has put it into production.

Design Industrial Interaction

Consider the Context of Use

I joined my parents and one of my sisters on the Washington coast at the end of August, where we stayed for a week in a rental house near the beach. The house was generally laid out logically and well appointed. Unfortunately, whoever handled shower faucet selection chose a design that, while sleek, obscures a core faucet function: how to switch the water flow from the faucet to the shower head.

Perplexing bath faucet

No, not by pulling the handle in any direction. You turn the ring (which has no visual affordance) at the mouth of the faucet. Of course!

This design is acceptable in a private home (though not one I would choose), but a poor choice in a rental property, where the occupants are without a readily available source of information as to how the faucet operates. A phone call to the property manager revealed that many renters have experienced the same frustration with the design, which is apparently used in other houses in the development.