How can we design a city that is accessible for neurodiverse people?
Everyone interprets things differently. As designers, it’s our job to make every experience simple, seamless and enjoyable for the people using our products and services.
For those on the neurodiverse spectrum, scenarios that may seem everyday to ‘neurotypical’ people can present significant challenges. For example, clashing patterns and colours in offices can be distracting for people on the autistic spectrum, while taking money out of a cash machine can be confusing for people with dyscalculia.
For DM16, we’re celebrating the part design plays in making Manchester and other cities great to live in. Inclusivity and accessibility for all is a big part of this, so we were delighted when we were approached by a team over at the BBC who have developed a project that focuses on just that.
Project CAPE is new accessibility initiative developed by the BBC that aims to raise awareness of the positive role neurodiversity can have in the workplace. Project lead Leena Haque wants to share the message that everyone thinks differently and that people across the neurodiverse spectrum have a huge amount to offer, often possessing talent and skills such as pattern and visual thinking, that can be applied to a range of roles and situations.
Manchester based design studio magneticNorth worked closely with the CAPE team to help develop a visual identity for the project. The project provided the designers with a unique opportunity to explore the different ways in which people interpret design elements such as colours, imagery and patterns.
With the CAPE brand now launched, the BBC and magneticNorth have been looking for a way to share the story behind the project and get the design and tech community involved in the next phase of the project’s development.
To help facilitate this, the BBC and magneticNorth have collaborated with learning experience design specialists Hyper Island who will help deliver the event.
The event will begin with a few short talks from the CAPE team and magneticNorth, followed by a workshop that will pose the question ‘How can we design a city that is accessible for neurodiverse people?’ Working in groups, attendees will follow a set of design processes to help improve a particular journey through the city for a neurodiverse person.
The workshop will focus on developing user personas and experience prototypes, with the primary aim of the session being to help budding designers and technologists appreciate that we all think differently in a fun, inclusive and challenging way.
Participation is free, but places are limited so please register here.