The British Standards Institute (2005) defines inclusive design as: ‘The design of mainstream products and/or services that are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible ... without the need for special adaptation or specialised design.

Inclusive design does not suggest that it is always possible (or appropriate) to design one product to address the needs of the entire population. Instead, inclusive design guides an appropriate design response to diversity in the population through:

  • Developing a family of products and derivatives to provide the best possible coverage of the population.
  • Ensuring that each individual product has clear and distinct target users.
  • Reducing the level of ability required to use each product, in order to improve the user experience for a broad range of customers, in a variety of situations.