Designing for Disability. In this article in the New Yorker a few nice examples are shown of why identity, style, are important in design. You don’t want to walk around on shoes you don’t like, so why should someone who needs a cane have to use an ugly one? Since this applies to the physical world, it probably also applies to the digital.
Because engineers focus on function, aesthetics are often overlooked
Nederland doet te weinig om mensen met een beperking volledig te laten deelnemen aan de samenleving. According to this study people with disabilities (1 in 8 people in the Netherlands) have to deal with accessibility issues around
work, independent living, and education; these are all parts of life that are situated in the lower sections of Maslow’s pyramid.
One could argue that we should focus on these lower parts of the pyramid first: make sure that all the basic needs are covered first before you start thinking about next levels. On the other hand there’s something like the law of the handicap of a head start, which says that groups that start later can skip quite a few steps and become leading right away.
In this podcast Peet Sneekes explains (in Dutch) that good is not good enough. Robots can make good things. We need to aim higher.
I think this is a very interesting observation. According to Peet, a very experienced creative consultant, by now robots should be able to create interfaces that are functional, and even usable and reliable. You need people to create stuff you’ll remember.