Application of a Universal Design Evaluation Index to Mobile Phones
Universal design is considerably analogous to ergonomic design in a way that it takes the capabilities and limitations of users into consideration during the product development process. However, relatively few studies have been devoted to reflect the practical use of ergonomic principles on universal design. This research attempts to develop a universal design evaluation index for mobile phone design to quantify how well a product complies to the principles of universal design. The research also emphasizes on ergonomic principles as a basis of evaluation. A generation of the evaluation lists was done by cross-checking among the personal, activity and product components. Personal components consist of human characteristics including age, physique, perceptual capacity, life style, etc. Activity components were derived from the scenarios of mobile phone use while product components were composed of the parts to which a user interacts. A universal design index was generated systematically from the relationship matrices among the three components. The index was then used to test its suitability by applying it to the evaluation of mobile phones currently on the market. This study demonstrates a development process through which evaluations can be made possible for universal design. The research suggests an improved approach to the appraisal of how well mobile phones are universally designed based on ergonomic principles.
KeywordsUniversal design Mobile phone usability Evaluation process
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