HCI — Human Computer Interaction -(iii)

Universal Design for Interactive Systems

4 min readDec 27, 2020

This is the third and the final blog article of this series. In this article I focus about Universal Design for Interactive Systems. in this topic I will divide to these three sub topics.

  1. Universal Design Principles 
  2. Multi-modal interaction
  3. Designing Interfaces for diversity

First of all I thing giving a idea of “what is Universal Design for Interactive Systems”. So Universal design is the process of designing products so that they can be used by as many people as possible in as many situations as possible. In our case, this means particularly designing interactive systems that are usable by anyone, with any range of abilities, using any technology platform. This can be achieved by designing systems either to have built in redundancy or to be compatible with assistive technologies. Now we can move to our sub topics.

Universal Design Principles 

Universal Design for Learning recognizes the different needs that are unique to those with visual, hearing, motor, or learning/cognitive disabilities while also designing for able-bodied users as well. UDL provides us, as designers, with guidelines to create an environment that is built for all users to learn, play, and develop together while reducing limitations.

  1. Equitable Use: provides the same means of use for all users with diverse abilities, and design is appealing to everyone
  2. Flexibility in Use: design to accommodate a wide range of preferences and abilities
  3. Simple & Intuitive: easy to understand and use regardless of the user’s experiences, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level
  4. Perceptible Information: communicates necessary info effectively, regardless of surrounding conditions or sensory abilities
  5. Tolerance for Error: minimizes hazards and adverse consequences of unintended actions
  6. Low Physical Effort: efficient and comfortable while minimizing chance of fatigue
  7. Size & Space for Approach & Use: design provides appropriate size and space regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility

Multi-modal interaction

We know that there are five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Multi-modal interactionmeans creating the system based on this senses. But from these five senses mostly use sight sound and touch for creating system. So I will get one by one.

Sound in the interface —

There is research evidence to suggest that the addition of audio confirmation of modes, in the form of changes in keyclicks, reduces errors beacuse sound is that mush an important to usability. The dual presentation of information through sound and vision supports universal design, by enabling access for users with visual and hearing impairments respectively. Sound can convey transient information and does not take up screen space, making it potentially useful for mobile applications.

Touch in the interface —

The use of touch in the interface is known as haptic interaction. This can be roughly divided into two areas; cutaneous perception which is concerned with tactile sensations through the skin as well as kinesthetics which is the perception of movement and position.

Handwriting recognition —

Handwriting is also a considerable important sensor for usability. This can be graphical or textual. It is a natural form of communication. Sometimes there are problems with how to input handwriting in applications but now many new methods coming to overcome that issue. In most of the applications, designers use capturing handwriting and input them into the application method.

Gesture recognition —

The gesture is a component of HCI that has become the subject of attention in multi-modal systems. Being able to control the computer with certain movements of the hand would be advantageous in many situations where there is no possibility of typing, or when other senses are fully occupied. It could also support communication for people who have disabilities.

Designing Interfaces for diversity

We have considered how people differ along a range of sensory, physical and cognitive abilities. However, there are other areas of diversity that impact upon the way we design interfaces. One of these is age. In particular, older people and children have specific needs when it comes to interactive technology. These are some main things we should consider.

Disability —

Most of people are have some errors in there vision. so when we are creating a systems we should consider also this peoples. As a example when we creating a interface we should consider the background color and font color.

Age —

If we consider age of the user, older people have disability on their sense. as a example vision, hearing etc. If we consider the children they are like to cartoons, and some colors. So if creating a system we should think to whom we are going to create this system. Age is a main factor when we going to create a system.

Culture —

Cultural difference is often used synonymously with national differences but this is too simplistic. Whilst there are clearly important national cultural differences other factors such as age, gender, race, sexuality, class, religion and political persuasion, may all influence an individual’s response to a system. This is particularly the case when considering websites where often the explicit intention is to design for a particular culture or subculture.

This is the end of the third blog article and the end of this series of articles about HCI. I think you got some idea from this articles. so thankyou for reading.

First blog article of this series : HCI —Design rules for interactive systems

previous blog article of this series : Evaluation techniques for interactive systems

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Undergraduate student of Software engineering-University of Kelaniya.