The Modern Plastics Worldwide website has a good article up on Universal Design, or "Inclusive Design," as they're now calling it. As the populations of America, Asia and Europe continue to grey at an unprecedented rate, more and more objects will need to be designed to be elderly-friendly.
How to design for this burgeoning group of consumers? Well, don't, at least not specifically, recommends Davin Stowell, CEO of product design firm Smart Design (New York)...
His recommendation: think in terms of 'universal,' or better yet, 'inclusive' design. Using lighter materials, combining materials with greater contrasts to make products easier to see or for backlighting, and using of soft-touch or other easily handled grips: all are examples of design aspects that appeal to seniors but also offer benefits to most other users, too. "If you design it for everyone, then it's not stigmatized" as a strictly senior product, he notes. The economics of such inclusive designs also appeal to original equipment manufacturers, as not limiting a product enables a processor to manufacture in higher volumes.
Read the entire article here.