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Designing for Human Variability

October 15, 2012 by Georgia Konzel   

Human variability is measuring the ways humans can range from one to another. Designing for Human Variability takes into account handicapped people who need a special type of product. Because there are many ways of being disabled, it is important for companies to find ways for everyone to use their product. This brings the disabled person to a more normal functionality. There are some companies that specialize in designing for human variability, by modifying other products to meet the needs. This could involve designing a new product to meet new requirements, or slight modifications so that it is easier to use by someone who is handicapped.

There are many important aspects that designers have to keep this in mind when designing for human variability. This includes if the disability is permanent, or just temporary, ex. being paralyzed vs. broken limb. The designers should also ask for input from the target audience when developing. They would have the best say in what they are looking for in a product, because mostly likely the design team will not be able to relate to the disability. Implementing the adaptive technology should be done in the earlier stages of the design process, but could really be added anytime.

Designing adaptive technologies can tackle some unthinkable problems. In video I watched, I saw a high school design team build a durable automated wheelchair for a girl who played wheelchair rugby. Because their game of rugby has a lot of intentional collisions,  this wheelchair must be very durable so that it lasts throughout the game, while still having the automatic controls. The clip for the automated wheelchair can bee seen here. By designing for the the rugby player the team was able to build a more powerful wheelchair that could with stand more collisions  This product could also have other uses besides wheelchair rugby, maybe an introductory chair for someone who is newly disabled.


1 Comment »

  1. Richard says:

    good. the wheelchair rugby is amazing

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