HCI International 2011

9-14 July 2011, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Orlando, Florida, USA

T23: User-Centered Design and Universal Access: How they can Work Together in Practice

Half Day Tutorial

Dr Simeon Keates (short bio)
University of Abertay Dundee, UK


The objective of this tutorial is to introduce and explore both user-centered design and universal access and to show how they can be implemented successfully in corporate and research environments.



This tutorial will cover the basics and introduce more advanced aspects of both user-centered design and universal access. We will explore how they are fundamentally related and also their application in real-world situations.

It is widely accepted in principle that both user-centered design and universal access are essential for the development of products that are both usable and accessible by the widest possible range of users. However, neither has really achieved ubiquity in industrial practice. There are many reasons for this - technological, organisational and cultural. In this tutorial we will examine these barriers to adoption, where they come from and how they can be bypassed.

We will look at how user-centered design and universal access have been successfully implemented in typical design management processes, with a minimum of modification to existing design practice. Significant advances in overall usability and accessibility can be readily achieved and this tutorial will be illustrated by numerous case studies where this has happened. You will see how some companies and organisations have risen to this challenge and how others have failed. By examining from their experiences, you will learn to spot the common reasons for failure and how to avoid or overcome them. This also gives a great opportunity for researchers new to the field to learn how real-world experiences often differ from the theoretical approaches taught in the classroom.

The case studies will include the design and evaluation of both hardware and software, including kiosks, robots and websites and there will be interactive design exercises to allow you to put your design skills to the test.


Target Audience:

The target audience for this tutorial includes anyone looking to either learn about the basics of user-centered design and/or universal access or to advance their knowledge about either of these topics. It is also aimed at anyone with an interest in how to make them work in a real-world context. Suggested participants include: designers, project managers, researchers, students and teachers.

Relevant Link:

Inclusive Design

Brief Biographical sketch

Dr Simeon Keates is an Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, where he lectures in the Design and Digital Communication study line. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge, where he also worked as an Industrial Research Fellow in the Engineering Design Centre.

After leaving Cambridge, he moved to the US and joined the IBM TJ Watson Research Center before moving to Boston and working at ITA Software as a Usability Lead designing interfaces for Air Canada.

Simeon also has an extensive history of consultancy, with clients including The Post Office (Royal Mail), the Social Security Administration, the UK Department of Trade and Industry, Danske Radio (DR) and Lockheed Martin.

Last revision date: July 14, 2012   Privacy Policy
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Level Double-A conformance icon,
W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0