Universal Design: The HUMBLES Method for User-Centred Business

  • ID: 2078104
  • January 2012
  • 256 Pages
  • Ashgate Publishing
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As a customer, have you ever felt dissatisfied with a product or service? Is it possible that customers may be similarly unhappy with your company? Being aware of and exploring your consumers' diversity constitutes the best source of information available if you are to lead the way in design innovation, marketing orientation and service provision.

"Universal Design: The HUMBLES Method for User-Centred Business" offers every type of organization a clear understanding of the role and value of Design for All/Universal Design (the intervention in environments, products and services to enable everyone, regardless of age, gender, capabilities or cultural background, to enjoy them on an equal basis). The seven phase model integrates the users' point of view, enabling you to assess your current business strategy and design practices, and make your product or service appealing to all your potential customers, thus creating a better, more consumer-oriented experience.

This book is a must-read for organisations who wish to consider their products and services from the customer point of view and so gain an advantage over their competitors.


'This book is required READ MORE >

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List of Figures
Executive Summary xi


Chapter 1: Highlight Design for All Opportunities
Increasing the Number of Consumers
Increasing the Number of Clients
Confirming the Strategy of the Company with Potential and Real Clients and Consumers
Preventing Problems
Selling in Other Countries
Selling More in the Tourist Sector
Improving the External Reputation
Improving the Internal Reputation
Anticipating Trends
Creating Loyal Clients and Consumers
Cutting Costs in the Medium Term
Innovating in Products and Services
Transforming Products into Services
Focusing the Company on the Client or User
Finding New Business Lines
Consolidating the Ethical Principles of the Company
Increasing the Company’s Prestige
Which Companies are Most Likely to Benefit from the HUMBLES Method?
Peter Kwan’s Story

Chapter 2: User Identification
Who are the Hidden Clients and Consumers?
Aspects of Human Diversity
Who are Our Current Users and Clients, and Who Do We Want them to Be?
User Map
Peter Kwan’s Story

Chapter 3: Monitor Interaction
Monitoring Usage, Wishes and Needs
Monitoring Complaints
Monitoring Reputation and Satisfaction
Beware: Do Not Make Your Clients Work for Free!
Gathering Data
Peter Kwan’s Story

Chapter 4: Breakthrough Options
The Potential Increase in Clients and Users, and Other Objectives of Design for All
Reconciling Improvements with the General Strategy of the Company
Gauging the Investment Effort Required
Promoting a Sense of Opportunity
The Capacity for Development and Implementation of Improvements
The Capacity to Manage the Project
The Seven Interdependent Success Factors
Peter Kwan’s Story

Chapter 5: Lay Out Solutions
Conduct a Thorough Study of Each of the Aspects to be Improved
Avoid Reinventing the Wheel
Identify the Scope for Innovation
Study Feasible Solutions
Consult Clients and Users about the Possible Solutions
Ensure Flexibility in the Course of Action
Draw Up an Exhaustive Briefing
Design the Prototype
Test the Prototype
Test the Resulting Product or Service
Peter Kwan’s Story

Chapter 6: Efficient Communication
Do Not Stigmatize
Sincerity and Honesty
Peter Kwan’s Story

Chapter 7: Success Evaluation
Peter Kwan’s Story

PART II: Experiences, Examples and Case Studies

Chapter 8: Experiences
Successful Examples of Universal Design in Japan
The Process of Integrating Accessibility into Services Offered by FGC
Istituto Europeo di Design

Chapter 9: Examples of User-focused Products and Services

Chapter 10: Case Studies
Altro and the TOTS Programme
Axel All-inclusive Hotels
FGC – Railways for All
IKEA and Design for All
Nespresso – Luxury for All
Santa & Cole – Person, City and Planet
Sol Meliá – Hotels for All


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Francesc Aragall is the Founder and President of the Design for All Foundation. The Foundation's main aim is to produce and disseminate information related to Design for All/Universal Design. Francesc started his career as an ergonomist before working in the public sector for ten years. In 2000 he re-entered the commercial sector in the field of engineering, architecture and design with his company ProAsolutions.

Jordi Montana is currently the Vice Chancellor of the University of Vic, a professor at ESADE, Faculty of Business Administration, and at the Ramon Llul University, Barcelona. He is also the director of the ESADE Board of Design Management. He holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering (Polytechnic University of Catalonia) and an MBA (ESADE). Apart from teaching, he also acts as a consultant on marketing and design management issues for public and private national and international companies and institutions. He has published several books on marketing and design and is the author of many articles and essays.

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