Inclusive design for ordinary users in extraordinary circumstances
Universal access is commonly interpreted as focusing on designing for users with atypical requirements – specifically users with disabilities or older adults. However, universal access is also about providing access to users in all situations and circumstances, including those that place extraordinary burdens on the users. This paper examines the design of a user interface (UI) for use in an airport environment and explains how the lessons learned from designing for users with disabilities in particular have been applied in this new context. The paper further describes a series of experiments that were performed to demonstrate the usability of the new interface and also compare the efficacy of three different input strategies developed for the new UI. The most efficient method of input was a strategy of combined keyboard shortcuts offering access to the full functionality of the UI.