Capability data Translating data Data tool Designer’s needs Inclusive design
Helen Hamlyn Research Centre (Royal College of Art)
ELTON, E. and NICOLLE, C.A., 2011. Translating inclusive capability data for designers. Include 2011 Proceedings. 6th International Conference on Inclusive Design: The Role of Inclusive Design in Making Social Innovation Happen. Royal College of Art, London, UK, 18th-20th April.
In 2009, the UK government launched a new strategy called ‘Building a society for all
ages: a choice for older people’. One of the major challenges outlined in this strategy
document is for old age to no longer be a time of dependency and exclusion. In relation
to product design, accurate and relevant capability data is essential in helping designers
overcome this challenge. However, there is a large and growing body of literature that
suggests current capability datasets provide little if any assistance to designers in
helping them reduce dependency and exclusion.
This paper reports on the process of translating visual capability data into a usable form
for designers. It details the need to consider inclusion data as opposed to exclusion
data and how capability data can be converted into inclusion percentages using zscores.
The paper also reports on the findings of a design research workshop where 3
data concepts were trialed. Findings suggest that the aesthetics/semantics of a dataset
may be one of the key factors that contribute to its use by designers in industry. Also,
one of the factors to emerge from this research is the importance of explaining the
context of the data and the issues surrounding it.