CHI 2001 Workshop No. 14
Universal design: Towards universal access in the Information Society
Constantine Stephanidis, Demosthenes Akoumianakis


In the emerging Information Society, Universal Design is increasingly becoming a fundamental step in the provision of anyone, anywhere access. In recent years, an increasing number of experts from a variety of engineering disciplines and technological domains have argued the potential of universal design to provide useful insights towards an Information Society which respects and values diversity in human capabilities, technological infrastructure and usage contexts. This is also evident from recent collaborative research work aiming to address the technical challenges involved in appropriating the benefits of universal design in Information Society Technologies (IST).

This workshop aims to explore the opportunities offered by universal design in IST in general, and HCI in particular, and assess its relevance, potential value and limitations in the context of designing interactive products and services.

The workshop will focus on:

  • Identifying the state of the art in universal design
  • Reviewing methods and techniques currently in use
  • Laying out the foundations of a conceptual frame of reference for introducing universal design into IST in general, and HCI in particular

Participants will be invited to contribute their views and experiences in the application of Universal Design, by providing documented evidence of past or on-going scientific and technical work, to elaborate on such experiences, and to provide constructive input towards the consolidation of a validated code of practice so as to influence the IST industry, as well as the academic and research community.



Position Papers

Universal Access in the Information Society – A retrospective of recent activities, Constantine Stephanidis


Deferential Design: Being Prepared for Re-Design, Gary Perlman


Universal Design In Interior Design, Shirley Confino-Rehder


Universal Design in HCI: A critical review of current research and practice, Demosthenes Akoumianakis, Constantine Stephanidis

5.    Designing with varying design parameters: The Unified Design process, Anthony Savidis, Constantine Stephanidis
6.    Designing Touch-based Communication Devices, Angela Chang, Zahra Kanji, Hiroshi Ishii
7.    Combining utility, usability and accessibility methods for Universal Access, Simeon Keates, P. John Clarkson
8.    Auditory direct manipulation for blind computer users – Making a well established design principle universal, Fredrik Winberg
9.    Universal Usability for public access and community web sites, Penny Collings
10.     User-Modelling and Adaptivity in Therapeutic Intervention Environments, Michael Pieper, Henrike Gappa
11.     Online help: a potential contribution to universal access, Antonio Capobianco, Noelle Carbonell
12.     SIC’ED: A Collaborative Intelligent System for Distance Learning, Mahieddine Djoudi, Abdelmadjid Zidani, Said Talhi
13.     A World Wide Web Mediator for Users with Low Vision, Silas S. Brown, Peter Robinson
14.     To fit a Data Bases Querying software for non-specialist end-users, Bernard Denoeud
15.     "Anyone, anywhere access to community-oriented services", Pier Luigi Emiliani



Workshop Agenda

Time Paper Sessions
09.00-09.10 Introduction (Welcome, Objectives, Plan, Outcomes) - CS UNIVERSAL DESIGN -  Past experience and future prospects
09.10-09.30 Roundtable: Participant introduction
09.30-09.45 Universal access in the Information Society (CS)
09.45-10.00 Deferential Design: Being Prepared for Re-design (GP)
10.00-10.15 Universal Design in Interior Design – S. Confino-Rehder
10.15-10.30 Universal design in HCI: Critical review (DA)
10.30-11.00 COFFEE BREAK  
11.00-11.15 Designing with varying design parameters (AS) DESIGN METHODS, TECHNIQUES & CASE STUDIES
11.15-11.30 Designing touch-based communication devices
11.30-11.45 Combining utility, usability and accessibility methods
11.45-12.00 Auditory direct manipulation for blind computer users
12.00-12.15 Universal usability for public access terminals  
12.15-12.30 User modeling and adaptivity in Therapeutic environments  
12.30-14.00 LUNCH BREAK  
14.00-14.15 On-line help TECHNOLOGY & APPLICATIONS
14.15-14.30 SIC’ED: A collaborative Intelligent System for DL
14.30-14.45 A WWW Mediator for Users with Low Vision
14.45-15.00 To fit a Data bases Querying software for non-specialists
15.00-15.15 Anyone, anytime access (PLE)
15.15-15.30 Demonstrations of Practical Examples of Universal Design
15.30-16.00 COFFEE BREAK  


  • What is the state of the art?
  • Template for method assessment
  • How to evaluate tentative designs
    • Can UD be inspected through prototypes of end products?
    • What techniques and methods are there ready for use?
    • Do we need process guidance or a process model?
  • How to do it, what to look for, what’s to be expected
17.00-17.20 Summary and Conclusions

Evaluation Form fill-in


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