EdTech 506 – Universal Design Example

This week in EdTech 506, I read about visual literacy and universal design. While I have learned about these topics briefly in other EdTech classes, it was good to review the information and get a more focused look at how it applies to visual design. As an assignment, I am supposed to find an example of universal design that is used in an instructional context. I chose an example that I have used in my own life recently. My husband and I recently moved to a state with a much cooler climate and I have been learning how to dress appropriately during the winter. One thing that I have needed is warmer scarves, but I did not know how to style big bulky scarves, so I took to the internet. I found several images created by bloggers to demonstrate how to style a blanket scarf in various ways. The instructional images created by Joules are a great example of some of the universal design principles.

This example of an instructional visual could be categorized as an organizational visual. the images demonstrate a sequence that takes a blanket scarf and turns it into a styled scarf with a knot. (Lohr, 2008) Each step is listed in order with accompanying numbers so that the viewer can easily determine the order of the steps. In the image, no text is used and the pictures adequately demonstrate the steps to style the scarf. However, in the blog post itself, the instructions are also written in order to give additional information if needed.

Several of the Universal Design principles are also demonstrated in this example. “The purpose of the Principles is to guide the design of environments, products and communications.” (Centre for Excellence in Universal Design) When applied appropriately, these principles can assist in the design process in order to create more usable products and environments. (Centre for Excellence in Universal Design) These scarf visuals are examples of several Universal Design principles including equitable use, simple and intuitive use, perceptible information, tolerance for error, and low physical effort. While this is a simple graphic with simple instructions included in the blog post, it helps users efficiently and effectively get the desired style with minimal effort or confusion. The post is accessible and easy to follow. Overall, I think this graphic is a great example of Universal Design.

Centre for Excellence in Universal Design. (n.d.). The 7 Principles. Retrieved from http://universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/The-7-Principles/

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: lessons in visual literacy (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education.

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