Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Inclusive design resources 2016

Inclusive design is the design of mainstream products and services that are accessible to and usable by as many people as possible. Read our blog post Good design benefits everyone

Here there is a list of resources and weblinks (May 2016) about:

  1. General inclusive design
  2. Kitchens
  3. Kitchen appliance design guidelines and recommendations
  4. Heating controls
  5. Smart meters

Acknowledgements
This was produced by Rica with support from Thomas Pocklington Trust.

Read our reports:

Inclusive Design: manufacturing, design and retail expert views (May 2016)

Smart Appliances and the Internet of Things: trends and impact for disabled and older consumers (May 2016)


General inclusive design

What is Universal Design? (2012)
The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (part of National Disability Authority)
Overview of universal design (UD), including definition, outline of the 7 principles, who benefits and 10 things to know about UD
universaldesign.ie

Evaluating the Universal Design Performance of Products (2000)
The Center for Universal Design (NC State University)
Guidelines for evaluating how well products satisfy the Principles of Universal Design to highlight strengths and weaknesses
www.ncsu.edu/ncsu/design/cud/pubs_p/docs/UDPMD.pdf

Inclusive Design Toolkit
University of Cambridge
Definition of inclusive design, list of user capabilities (such as vision, hearing, thinking and mobility) to consider, why and how to practice inclusive design
www.inclusivedesigntoolkit.com

Designing with people: Methods
Designing with people (Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design)
20 methods which can help designers develop an understanding of their users' capabilities, wants and needs in order to design with, not just for, people (participatory design). Consider the principles relating specifically to user interfaces and as products become more complex with more functions, the user/product interaction increases
designingwithpeople.rca.ac.uk
 

Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design
Jakob Nielsen (Nielsen Normal Group)
10 usability ‘rules of thumb’ (heuristics) of how a user interface should be made to navigate and what it should offer users
www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics

Kitchens

How we test…….?
Which?
Describes how they test products, including what they look for in an ease of use assessment and whatis considered good design and a ‘Best Buy’
Search on Which? website: ‘How we test [insert product]’

Kitchen Living in Later Life: Exploring Ergonomic Problems, Coping Strategies and Design Solutions (2014)
Loughborough Design School (International Journal of Design)
How the kitchen environment affects the use of appliances, including comments on difficulties with certain appliances (kettle 81-82, dishwasher 82) and the location of appliances (85)
Click here for Kitchen living in later life

Kitchen design that stands the test of time. Features that make your kitchen easier for everyone to use
Consumer reports
A few suggestions on how to make a kitchen environment more accessible
Click here for Kitchen design that stands the test of time


Kitchen Appliance design guidelines and recommendations

Requirements needed in European household appliance performance standards to improve ease of use of appliances by older and disabled people (2011)
Loughborough Design School and ANEC
Overview of control types for potential use on household appliances. Includes suggestions of controls for tasks on variety of household appliances, the qualities of control types, additional considerations and quantitative recommendations of controls
Click here for Requirements needed in European household appliance performance standards

Addendum to final report: Requirements needed in European household appliance performance standards to improve ease of use of appliances by older and disabled people (2012)
Loughborough Design School
Addendum to the final report. Re- visiting the guidelines for font size and text contrast.
Click here for Addendum to final report

Development of guidelines for designing appliances for older persons (2012)
Work
Focuses mainly on the technology behind domestic appliances and how this should be designed for ease of use of older persons (for instance 'mental models')
Click here for Development of guidelines

The use of domestic appliances by cognitively impaired users (2013)
Glasgow and Higgins, Engineering and Industrial Sciences- Aus (Cognitive Performance Support)
Consideration of older users' mental models in designing appliances and/or user interfaces
http://www.inderscienceonline.com/doi/full/10.1504/IJCPS.2013.053589

Usability Study. A range of Opinions: A survey on the Accessibility of Today’s Home Appliances (2006)
American Foundation for the Blind: Access World Magazine       
Testing of controls used on domestic appliances with blind and visually impaired people. It's an old study, but highlights the difficulties faced by using touchpads and screens and how these affect user confidence. Touchscreens are being used more frequently so is there increased difficulty now?
Click here for Usability Study

Ease of use: Appliances
Intertek
Training course
Click here for Ease of use: Appliances

Left to your own devices: Results of a study on the usability of everyday household and electronic products for people with vision loss (2011)
American Foundation for the Blind: Access World Magazine
Suggestions of features needed on household and electronic equipment to improve usability for blind and visually impaired users. (User-centred research to understand people's preferences and whether product accessibility would influence their buying)
www.afb.org/afbpress/Pub.asp?DocID=aw121106

Guidelines for designing kitchen appliances for the elderly (2006)
Auburn University
Student dissertation (for Masters degree) developing guidelines for designing kitchen appliances for the elderly
etd.auburn.edu/bitstream/handle/10415/265/RAVEN_SUSAN_15.pdf?sequence=1&ts=1438177808720

Human factors design guidelines for the elderly and people with disabilities (1992) - incomplete draft?
Honeywell
Effect of ageing and certain conditions on user abilities. Covers the different types of controls, visual displays (rest missing), noting when to use certain types and suggested dimensions
www.cs.cmu.edu/~khaigh/ILSAEXTERNALWEBSITE/content/publications/1992-HumanFactors.pdf

Development of a usability evaluation framework with quality function deployment: from customer sensibility to product design (2009, Korea)
Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing
onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hfm.20145/epdf

Designing inclusive futures. Chapter 12: Sustaining autonomous living for older people through inclusive strategies for home appliance design. 12.3.4 Design advantages (Page 124) (2009)
A few basic design recommendations for appliances and the kitchen environment
Clikc here for designing inclusive futures

Household Appliances (2009)
RNIB Digital Accessibility Team
Overview of the potential problems older and disabled people may encounter when using household appliances, and potential problems with specific appliances and/or features. Gives design recommendations to make appliances more accessible
www.tiresias.org/research/guidelines/household_appliances.htm

Accessible Appliances and Universal Design (1996)
Special Interest Forum on Accessible Appliances and Universal Design. Centre for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access
Report on special interest forum on accessible appliances. Includes information on which principles of design to consider and lists range of domestic appliances and what to consider in their design
Click here for Accessible Appliances and Universal Design

Examples of inclusively designed kitchen appliances

Designing for the Senior Surge (2008)
The Wall Street Journal
Gives examples of changes in appliance design to accommodate older users
www.wsj.com/articles/SB120908542602343631

How to choose kitchen appliances for universal design
Houzz
Briefly covers some of the different styles of a range of domestic appliances and their usability. Focus is 'accessibility and safety features for kitchen appliances'
www.houzz.co.uk/ideabooks/5350132/list/how-to-choose-kitchen-appliances-for-universal-design

Kitchen: Accessible Appliances
Briefly discusses development of inclusive appliances including a few examples for improved usability (visibility and ease of use)
www.improvenet.com/a/accessible-appliances

Kitchen appliance buying advice

Home appliances
Which?
Reviews of home appliances by Which? (Need to sign up to view)
www.which.co.uk/home-appliances

Accessible Appliances and Universal Design (1996)
Special Interest Forum on Accessible Appliances and Universal Design. Centre for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access
Report on special interest forum on accessible appliances. Includes information on which principles of design to consider and lists a range of domestic appliances and what to consider in their design
Click here for Accessible Appliances and Universal Design

Easy to use home and tech products
Which?
Gives advice on the elements of different home and tech products to consider when purchasing an easy to use product (Includes: Kettles, microwaves, toasters, washing machines and more). When logged in, for each product also have access to a list of the best models for ease of use as selected from Which? reviews.
Easy to use kettles: Click here for kettles
Easy to use microwaves: Click here for microwaves
Easy to use toasters: Click here for toasters
Easy to use washing machines: Click here for washing machines

Fridge accessibility (2015)
Choice
A guide to choosing an accessible fridge. Details some specific design features which are more beneficial than others for users with different impairments
www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/kitchen/fridges/articles/fridges-accessibility

Dishwasher accessibility (2015)
Choice
A guide to choosing an accessible dishwasher. Details some specific design features which are more beneficial than others for users with different impairments
www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/kitchen/dishwashers/articles/dishwashers-accessibility

Washing machine accessibility (2015)
Choice
A guide to choosing an accessible washing machine. Details some specific design features which are more beneficial than others for users with different impairments
Click here for Washing machine accessibility

The kinds of controls you will encounter
American Foundation for the Blind
Explains, and gives examples of, which controls are accessible, inaccessible, and ambiguous to a blind or visually impaired user
Click here for The kinds of control you will encounter

AccessWorld Appliance Accessibility Guide
American Foundation for the Blind
Product and shopping advice for blind or visually impaired users for stoves, ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers
www.afb.org/info/living-with-vision-loss/using-technology/selecting-home-appliances/123


Heating controls

Types of boiler and heating controls
Which?
Explanations of the different types of boiler and heating controls
Click here for Types of boiler and heating controls

Consumer and domestic heating controls: a literature review
Consumer Focus
Identifies barriers associated to control usability, industry’s attitude towards developing and installing usable controls
Click here for Consumer and domestic heating controls

What people want from their heating controls: a qualitative study
Department of Energy and Climate Change
Diary study: how people currently use heating controls and how they want to (PDF)
Click here for What people want from their heating controls

How people actually use thermostats (2010)
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEE)
Reviews previous research to establish the thermostats used, whether successful thermal goals are reached, and energy saving and the difficulties experienced during use. Includes table identifying barriers from previous testing. Usability testing on thermostats includes interviews, online surveys and tasks to complete which highlight the barriers to users (PDF)
aceee.org/files/proceedings/2010/data/papers/1963.pdf

Advice on how to use heating controls
NatCen Social Research for Department of Energy and Climate Change
Findings of a randomised control trial in Newcastle testing whether tailored advice from a 'trusted messenger' on how to use heating controls can help households reduce energy consumption (PDF)
Click here for Advice on how to use heating controls

Thermostat Interface and Usability: A Survey (2014)
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA
A survey of the research and literature relating to residential thermostats
www.researchgate.net/publication/255220886_Thermostat_Interface_and_Usability_A_Survey

Development of heating control evaluation technique (including usability testing)

Facilitating Energy Savings with Programmable Thermostats: Evaluation and Guidelines for the Thermostat User Interface (2012)
Ergonomics
Overview of different design principles. Usability testing of programmable thermostats where users were given tasks to complete. Identifies elements of the design that work well and contribute to success of tasks. Develops guidelines for the design of thermostat that may also be applicable to domestic appliances. Doesn’t relate to inclusive design but fixing problems which affect everyone would make design more inclusive (PDF) wcec.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/SustErgFinal.pdf

Usability of residential thermostats: Preliminary investigations (2011)
Building and Environment
Summarises problems identified from previous research on usability issues of thermostats. Proposed a calculation/tool to give a single measure of usability consisting of the time taken to complete and ability to complete task- only initial, and gives idea for further research to test validity (PDF) Click here for Usability of residential thermostats

The characteristics of a usable temperature control
Helsinki University of Technology, Finland
Design guidelines, tested on an office work environment (PDF) Click here for The characteristics of a usable temperature control

Enabling sustainable user interaction with domestic heating controls
Nicola Combe et al, Proceedings of the research students' conference on 'Buildings don’t use energy, people do?’
Gives initial design guidelines for heating controls (PDF)
bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/6061/2/Fulltext.pdf

Are users necessary for inclusive design? (2005)
15th International Conference on Engineering Design, Melbourne, Australia
Considers how designers can use Exclusion Analysis to prioritise accessibility problems without referring to older or disabled users, based on an estimate of the number of people affected and the frequency of occurrence of problems during user/device interaction
www.designsociety.org/publication/23148/are_users_necessary_for_inclusive_design

Evaluation and design recommendations for heating controls (including usability testing)

An investigation into usability and exclusivity issues of digital programmable thermostats (2011)
Engineering Design, Brunel University
Aims to investigate why older users in particular have difficulty using heating controls effectively. Uses ‘Exclusion calculator’ from Cambridge inclusive design toolkit. Makes design recommendations for effective controls and confirms are problems with design effecting both younger and older users (PDF) dspace.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/6060/2/Fulltext.pdf

Reducing domestic energy consumption through inclusive interface design
Nicola Combe, Brunel University
Dissertation. Examines the scale of exclusion to digital programming (of people living on one estate) and the reasons for exclusion, through in-depth study focusing on the difficulties experienced by older people. Findings of both studies contributed to the design of a more inclusive control interface which, when tested, gave tasks an increased success rate and indicated potential energy savings (PDF) bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/7172/3/FulltextThesis.pdf

Assessing the ‘Design Exclusion’ of Heating Controls at a low-cost, low-carbon housing development (2014)
International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, Brunel University
Details three main user capabilities that are challenged by heating controls: vision, dexterity, and ‘thinking’. For each, lists how the design affects the user and how usability could be improved. (Appendix has detailed HTA on using thermostats and a table on the capabilities required by users)  Click here for Accessing the 'Design Exclusion'

Exploring consumer preferences for home energy display functionality (2009)
Centre for Sustainable Energy
Qualitative feedback from users after using different heating controls for a week in their own home. Two workshops were conducted: a workshop before testing to develop a specification for desired heating controls, and a workshop after testing to revaluate their preferences. Key design issues were identified and a core specification for the design of heating controls developed (PDF) Click here for exploring consumer preferences for home energy display functionality

How people use thermostats in homes: review (2011)
Building and Environment
Gives overview of usability testing done and recommendations to improve design (PDF) here
(Original web link: www.laneyb.com/read/how-people-use-thermostats-in-homes-a-review-72918/ )  

Usability testing of smarter heating controls
Department of Energy and Climate Change
Usability testing (PDF)
Click here for Usability testing of smarter heating controls

Reducing domestic energy consumption through inclusive interface design
Nicola Combe, Brunel University
Dissertation. Examines the scale of exclusion to digital programming (of people on one estate) and the reasons for exclusion through in-depth study focusing on the difficulties experienced by older people. Findings of both studies contributed to the design of a more inclusive control interface which, when tested, gave tasks an increased success rate and indicated potential energy savings
bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/7172/3/FulltextThesis.pdf

Consumer advice

Choosing central heating controls and saving energy (2015)
Rica
www.rica.org.uk/content/central-heating-controls

Controls

Heating control specific
Controls for end users: a guide to good design and implementation (2007)
Building Controls Industry Association
Barriers between the intention to provide good controls and users' real-life experience. Includes checklist for control manufacturers and suppliers (PDF)
Click here for Controls for end users

Last updated: May 2016


See also: Promoting inclusive design | Personal stories