Universal Design India Principles

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Abir Mullick, Anjlee Agarwal, Balaram S., Debkumar Chakrabarti, Gaurav Raheja, Haimanti Banerjee, Rachna Khare, Ravi Shankar and Shivani Gupta (In alphabetical order)

National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

1. The UDI principles are stand alone universal design ideologies that  focus in Indianness and inclusivity as they relate to age, gender, disability, caste, class, religion, poverty and urban/rural background.
2. UDI principles neither make any connection nor build on the 7 Universal Design Principles. They recognize the overarching importance 7 Principles in the field of universal design.

Principles, Description and Guidelines (in Indian context):

1.     Equitable/ Saman : The design is fair and non-discriminating to diverse users
  • Avoid prejudices against people of all ages, gender, disability, sizes, caste, class and religion.
  • Consider different capabilities of users and build in many levels of engagement.
  • Provide choices in access and use thru flexibility and customization.
  • Allow personalization through inclusion of adjustable and adaptable options.
  • Provide equality in challenge, opportunity and energy requirement.
2.     Usable/ Sahaj : The design is operable by all users
  • Provide independence, comfort, safety and support during use.
  • Facilitate access, operation and convenience by diverse users.
  • Include adaptations for those experiencing difficulty in use.
  • Provide clarity in use, operation and maintenance to minimize instruction and avoid confusion and error.
  • Adopt simple means to overcome complex operation.
  • Follow cultural norms to address user expectations.
  • Offer multi-sensory feedback to point in the right direction.  
  • Build in intuitive operation and innate understanding of problem.
  • Allow easy adaptation to facilitate use by people with diverse abilities.
  • Prevent costly mistakes and untended consequence from misuse.
3.     Cultural / Sanskritik : The design respects the cultural past & the changing present assist all users
  • Maintain social and traditional qualities in design.
  • Include Indian idioms to make historic and social connection.
  • Present in many languages for inclusive comprehension.
  • For all castes and society levels.
  • Respond to local context and conditions.
  • Employ appropriate technology to match user expectations.
4.     Economy/ Sasta : The design respects affordability and cost considerations for diverse users
  • Ensure affordability, durability and maintainability.
  • Use local materials for energy savings and cost effectiveness.
  • Focus on low unit cost through wide distribution.
  • Adopt modular approach to offer choice in features and price range.
5.     Aesthetics/ Sundar : The design employs aesthetic to promote social integration among users
  • Employ aesthetic to enhance universal appeal and use.
  • Allow personalizing aesthetics through flexibility, adaptability and modularity of colour, form, texture and interaction.
  • Employ appearance to inform use and safety.
  • Bridge wide range of meaning and comprehension gaps.


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