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What are Inclusive Design Products?
September 21, 2022
Reading time: 7 minutes
Inclusive design products are accessible to the disabled and the non-disabled alike.
Inclusive design is about broadening the accessibility of a product, service, or location. You have already used many inclusive design systems since you were younger. You’ve walked into buildings through stairless entrances that don’t have wheelchair ramps, read pictographic signs with wordless explanations, and typed on backlit laptop keyboards that make it easier for everyone, regardless of their level of vision.
In the tech industry, inclusive design products include voice control, speech to text, screen magnification, easy opening, and visual error messages. HP® takes pride in building inclusive design into every product from the start. Learn more about these initiatives and see examples in this guide to inclusive products from HP.
What is inclusive design?
Inclusive design is the act of creating products, services, and facilities that don’t exclude any group or require them to use a different version of an item. Inclusive design serves non-disabled people alongside people with a physical, visual, hearing, or intellectual disability.
One universal design example that’s been around for at least 50 years is the visual instructions on our nation’s road signs. Images of curved arrows and leaping deer make important information easily available even to those who speak a different language.
What are inclusive design products?
Inclusive design products are accessible to as many users as possible without requiring disabled persons to buy a special model. Some examples include smartphones, automatic doors, large-grip kitchen utensils, e-readers with adjustable print sizes, and everyday voice assistants.
For instance, a non-disabled person can use a large-grip vegetable peeler or an e-reader with adjustable print without any inconvenience.
HP is committed to inclusive design
HP is excited about inclusive design because it affirms human dignity, unlocks creativity, and supports your independence. Universal design also makes our offerings useful to as many people as possible for as long as possible. It future-proofs HP laptops, printers, and other tech, so users can enjoy them even if their situation changes.
For example, a laptop with baked-in accessibility features like closed captioning or adjustable print size serves you as you experience changes in vision. A printer with color-coded, tactile-coded cartridges lets you change the ink without guessing if you did it right, even if your vision worsens over time.
HP works to constantly improve accessibility for all. Our product teams are continuously inspired by customer feedback to create products and services that anyone can use.
HP inclusive design examples
HP builds inclusive features into products in four main categories: visual, auditory, physical, and cognitive. The HP inclusive design process includes reaching out to users and community members, considering diverse user feedback during product development, and using the HP Test Plan to assess devices in the prototyping stage.
Here are the core HP inclusive design principles.
Visual inclusive design
HP laptops and desktops support users with visual disabilities by providing assistive technology in popular operating systems like Microsoft Windows. Screen magnification, keyboard navigation, tactile sensitivity, command and control by speech to text, and high-contrast text and icon labels allow visually disabled people to adjust their digital environment to reinforce their creativity and workflows.
Backlit keyboards aid typing, while Windows accessibility features like dark themes and text to speech promote control for those with low vision.
Printers by HP help people with visual disabilities by adding sound alerts, colored and tactile buttons, screen-reader assistance, and high-contrast user interfaces. HP printers also play sounds when a job completes, so people with visual disabilities don’t need to rely on image-based alerts.
Auditory inclusive design
HP laptops and desktops use auditory inclusive product design systems like visual alerts and status indicators to increase accessibility for people with hearing disabilities. Plus, webcams with American Sign Language functionality let hearing disabled users participate more freely in online conferencing.
Inclusive features like visual alerts and error messages promote easier printing for users with hearing disabilities. Design teams have also added physical volume controls to some printer models, with different screen colors to signal changing print statuses or modes.
Physical inclusive design
HP bakes inclusive design features into PCs (both desktops and laptops) from the start. Simplified controls like voice and even eye control aid desktop and laptop use for people with a physical disability. Many laptops are easy to open with one or two hands, while easily adjustable monitor stands accommodate users who face different physical challenges.
Printers with voice commands, touch screens, visual indicators, and more accessible controls make it easier for those with physical disabilities to print. Delayed key repeat reduces typing errors for those with tremors from conditions like Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor. Many HP printers also support external pointing devices and keyboards.
Cognitive inclusive design
Pictographic instructions, read-out-loud features, and simple language bolster the creativity and freedom of people with cognitive disabilities. Easy-to-use navigation tools and augmented reality integrations enhance learning and discovery, even for those facing cognitive challenges.
HP inclusive printers with FUTURE SMART 4 ports and connectors make port types and uses obvious, so it’s easier to connect devices quickly and without frustration. Screen reader and voice capabilities and voice assistant compatibility pave the way for stress-free printing for users who have cognitive disabilities.
HP’s line of convertible 2-in-1 laptops like the HP Spectre x360 and the HP Pavilion x360 are easy-open devices that work in multiple modes, like laptop, tablet, or tent, for streamlined access. Like all HP PCs, they also offer other inclusive features like keyboard navigation and tactile sensitivity.
Speech-to-text control and high-contrast text support visual disabilities, while visual alerts, backlit buttons, American Sign Language-supported webcams, and text to speech help those with hearing disabilities. Other features like simple language help users with cognitive disabilities create whatever they want without being limited by on-screen instructions.
The HP Chromebase 22 All-In-One PC features an adjustable touch screen that rotates, swivels, and tilts to accommodate multiple heights and viewing angles for users with physical and visual disabilities. Built-in Google Chrome accessibility software adds screen readers and magnifiers, including full-page zoom for those with low vision. The HP Chromebase 22 is also easy to operate for users facing physical, cognitive, and visual challenges thanks to its large, clear buttons.
A work of art in desktop form, the HP All-in-One 24 offers clutter-taming beauty and computing power at a budget-friendly price. It includes Windows 11 Home accessibility standards, which aid those with disabilities by adding features like captions to videos and adjustable text backgrounds, colors, and sizes.
Many HP monitors have Speech Access Modules designed to increase accessibility for people who are hearing disabled. For instance, the HP M24 webcam monitor boasts a 23.8-inch, Full High Definition display as well as dual microphones with a 5MP camera. It also includes a built-in speech access module so you can quickly toggle the screen reading.
All-in-one printers like the HP Deskjet 4155e and the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e deliver inclusive features like sound alerts, screen reader assistance, and visual and audio alerts that aid people with visual and hearing disabilities.
Voice controls let the visually disabled print, copy, and scan with less frustration, while touch screens create easier workflows for those facing physical challenges. Plus, FUTURE SMART 4 ports make connecting devices and peripherals faster, regardless of ability level.
Inclusive design product examples
Here are a few examples of inclusive products.
Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are inclusive design products because they serve people with visual disabilities while also aiding the enabled.
Automatic doors are convenient for people with disabilities and non-disabled persons alike.
OXO Good Grips kitchen utensils are easier to grip for both chefs with or without disabilities.
Transcripts of This American Life from NPR let listeners with a hearing disability enjoy this popular podcast.
Visual signage on highways, streets, and in stores and other public areas make navigation easier for all.
Uber accessibility features let disabled riders arrange rides with cashless payments, service animal inclusion, and other useful features.
Tactile pavement adds traction and touch feedback for those with visual disabilities.
Stair-free entrances without wheelchair ramps are equally accessible to different types of users.
Ikea 3D print accessories for furniture can adapt everyday items to people with a disability without the need for special models.
Movable shelving lets those with physical disabilities reach items at all heights without assistance.
Inclusive design products rely on a single product version to serve the needs of those with all types of abilities and disabilities, from non-disabled individuals to those with visual, auditory, cognitive, and physical disabilities. HP takes an inclusive design approach with all its products, from printers and PCs to monitors.
About the Author: Tom Gerencer is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Tom is an ASJA journalist, career expert at Zety.com, and a regular contributor to Boys' Life and Scouting magazines. His work is featured in Costco Connection, FastCompany, and many more.
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