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Blind Aesthetics: Exploring Universal Design

Last night a growing community of designers, called (Re)desine, met upstairs at Blarney's in Dinkytown. Every time they get together, a new person speaks to the group about their experiences with designing anything from content and curriculum material to web-based solutions for education.

Last night I spoke about designing for the visually impaired. When your audience has a visual disability, the "beauty" of the design has very little to do with the "look." The already-difficult task of providing a beautiful and engaging experience becomes exponentially complex.

Although the focus was on designing for the disabled, my message was much more broad. It is absolutely crucial that you design for your audience. One of the things I bring to the Department of Academic Technology Services is the ability to understand the design process inside and out. As proposals come in for future projects we'll be producing for the College of Education and Human Development, it is my personal goal to understand each projects audience and create a unique experience for each audience and each individual to provide the most engaging experience possible.

If anyone has any questions about design, accessibility, our department, or multimedia in general, feel free to drop me an email at bhosack@umn.edu!