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Universal Design Pictograms for Equity and Inclusion


Motion lines and actual orientation. credit: visual language

Do you want to create a community by design where people with and without disabilities can live together as they are? Professor Mao Kudo of the Department of Media Design hopes that the results of her research will not only be used for further research, but become ingrained into the fabric of society in transportation systems, educational and public facilities. With the publication of her paper in visual languageI set out to illustrate graphic design elements in pictograms that are easier for people with intellectual disabilities to understand.

People with intellectual disabilities rely on pictograms in public places to circumvent the difficulty in understanding textual information. Pictograms in public places are support tools for receiving the necessary information. There are efforts to standardize JIS design for pictograms, but more surveys and feedback need to be incorporated into the designs to make them more effective.

People with intellectual disabilities have difficulty learning or understanding the meaning of the pictograms present, so the survey shows which designs are understood more intuitively.

Through the study, Professor Kudo outlined five design elements that are factors for increasing understanding of the diagram.

  1. Add person token to location: Add person to ask questions to someone else instead of the ‘i’ symbol for ‘information’.
  2. Location element: Add the platform to the train station and the bus stop pole to the bus station.
  3. Physical Orientation: View items as they are oriented in real life, the key, and the locker in their physical orientation.
  4. Motion Line: Add three small lines to represent motion or sound.
  5. Arrow: The longer the axis, the easier it is to understand. (1.9 times the length of a standard diagram)

Although the graphic elements that increase the understanding of the pictograms are indicated, they are not applicable to all circumstances. For example, there were some IQ groups (21 to 35 vs 36 to 50) that were found to differ in their preference for pictograms as the positions and directions of “Stand in two lines” and “Please stand on the right or left.” Further investigation is needed. In the conditions of the pictograms.

For example, adding the action line was effective in increasing understanding of the emergency button by (p<.05 but="" for="" stand="" on="" the="" right="" or="" left="" it="" had="" no="" effect.="" prof="" kudo="" could="" only="" speculate="" based="" her="" prior="" experience="" teaching="" at="" special="" needs="" schools="" as="" to="" what="" elements="" target="" pictogram="" that="" caused="" different="" outcomes.="" she="" wonders="" perhaps="" is="" not="" very="" meaningless="" add="" effective="" graphic="" if="" object="" itself="" drawn="" with="" abstract="" expression.="" hopes="" investigate="" this="" further.="" wp_automatic_readability="42.287872841444">Interestingly, both people with and without intellectual disabilities had similar results with motion lines. The study also found that the longer the axis of the arrow, the easier it was for people regardless of their disability status. It is important that people with or without disabilities understand pictograms.

It seems obvious, but it hasn’t been made clear before that the same graphic elements have different effects depending on the subject. In addition, Professor Kudo was only able to answer the question of what elements of the target pictograms are responsible for the various effects.

Illustrations with a universal design for equality and inclusion

Five graphic elements were effective in increasing understanding of the pictograms. credit: visual language

When Professor Kudo began working on this issue during her PhD program, she was asked, “Why do you research pictograms when they are already complete?” However, as research progressed, I found that people with and without disabilities alike found standardized, commonly observed pictograms difficult to understand.

Furthermore, both found that adding a graphic element for context made the diagram easier to understand. Even when we think we have “mastered” the current diagram, we may have an assumption bias. Instead of traveling far to discover the unknown, new findings can sometimes be reached by approaching familiar things from a different perspective.

Also, pictograms generally function in a specific environment as part of a sign. However, it is not clear how people with disabilities see and interpret symbols and pictograms in the general environment.

While it is necessary to study the design and make progress on it, it is also very important to know how the people who use it look and see it, and this seems to change the design itself. Prof. Kudo would like to work on this point for future studies. She hopes that you will contact her if you are also interested in creating a community where people with and without disabilities can live together as they are.

more information:
the post: Journal.uc.edu/index.php/vl/article/view/6395

Provided by Kyushu University

the quote: Universal Equity Inclusion Design Pictograms (2023, April 26) Retrieved April 26, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-pictograms-universal-equity-inclusion.html

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