Enhancing reality by design for us all

By Christine Hemphill | 9th February 2020

For the past few years, Open has been involved in a number of immersive technology projects. We are working to ensure enhanced reality technologies are designed with a range of users in mind. Then we won’t leave significant segments of the population behind as these digital interfaces become more widespread in use.  Immersive technologies include virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and any mixed or any other future reality (XR).

In January 2020, Christine, Open’s Managing Director presented to Immerse UK to share some considerations and insights we have been building from this work.

A summary of the presentation and link to it

In case you don’t have time to read through the Slideshare link included here for you, the summary points are these;

  • Humans are very diverse in the ways we sense, move and think.
  • Not designing for that diversity is not designing for humans. You will exclude all of us some of the time, and some of us all of the time.
  • Designing from the stretch cases of permanent disability will ensure that you don’t unwittingly exclude a large portion of the population from the value and enjoyment of emerging technologies, such as AR and VR.
  • An inclusive design approach will help you make better products that are more creative, functional, durable and valuable for all. More users will appreciate your creations, and your business will enjoy the returns from that.
  • For each major needs group (vision, hearing, mobility/dexterity, memory, learning, social and communication) we outline; who that group includes, a few design tips and some links for further reference and ongoing learning.
  • We end by highlighting the importance of engagement with a community of users with more specific and stronger access needs throughout the design process. This will enable immersive technologies to be a positive tool that doesn’t exclude large and valuable communities from learning, entertainment, experience enrichment and many new, as yet to be designed, functions.
  • We would love to work with you to ensure this is a technology that includes us all, rather than leaves behind large portions of society, as it emerges to maturity.

Are you creating immersive technologies?

If you are interested in knowing more about how immersive technologies can be designed and developed to provide better experiences to more users, more of the time, please contact us. We would be very happy to discuss with you this fabulous range of new interaction formats and how we can make them great for us all.

If you are an innovator and interested more broadly in how emerging technologies can be enhanced by taking an inclusion-led approach, please have a read of one of our earlier articles on Extreme Innovation – Extremely Good Design here.