Universal Design: Usability for your home

I've heard of ergonomics, but I hadn't heard of Universal Design, created at the Center for Universal Design. Its original goal was homes that are accessible to disabled people, but its benefits extend to the rest of us. Putting power plugs higher may benefit wheelchair users the most, but higher power plugs would mean I wouldn't have to crawl or bend way over to unplug things.

Universal design's affinity with usability is clear from a sampling of its seven principles: Principle Two is Flexibility in Use, Principle Four is Perceptible Information, and Principle Five is Tolerance for Error.

This idea resonated with me, because my former apartment had locks installed upside down, a bathroom door that was stuck enough to require force to open, and my current apartment has vertical blinds that constantly jam up, and a dryer dial I found irritating. All these little annoyances add up to make daily life more irritating than it has to be.

This approach was named by the late Ron Mace. I ran across it on (via Realty Times) which mentioned it as a new trend in home design I find most encouraging.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Friday, July 25, 2003 (Link)


Posted by Conrad Zulus Saturday, July 26, 2003 at 07:15 AM

why does this url have a direct to port 8120? port 80 nothing more thanks

[URL munched to prevent nasty sidebar wrapping
in Internet explorer --Edit by Chad Lundgren 07/31/03]

Posted by Chad Lundgren Friday, August 15, 2003 at 01:02 PM

I edited this entry 08/15/03 to change the name of the reference from "Reality Times" to "Realty Times." The former spelling was a bit too philosophical.

Of all the many typoes I've comitted, my all-time fave is one about a woman who "had a bay at the table" in a restaraunt. The correct spelling of course, was "baby".

Ah, the joys of over-reliance on spell checking.