7 Principles of Universal Design

Photo of island bench with black custom grab rail on edge

1. Equitable Use 

  • Design is appealing and provides the same means of use to all individuals.

  • Provisions for privacy, security, and safety are equally available.

2. Flexibility in Use 

  • There is choice in methods of use.

  • Accommodations for right or left handed use. 

  • Allow for accuracy and precision as well as adaptable to the individual’s pace.

3. Simple & Intuitive Use

  • Use of the design is easy to understand.

  • Any undue complexity is removed.

4. Perceptible Information

  • Ambient conditions do not affect use.

  • Consider individual’s sensory abilities.

  • Provide contrast between essential information and its surroundings.

5. Tolerance for Error

  • Consider and minimize hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions. 

  • Provide fail-safe features.

6. Low Physical Effort

  • Allow user to maintain a neutral body position. 

  • Minimize repetitive actions and sustained physical effort. 

7. Size and Space for Approach and Use

  • Provide a clear line of sight to important elements for any seated or standing user.

  • Make reach to all components comfortable for any seated or standing user.

  • Accommodate variations in hand and grip size. 

  • Provide adequate space for the use of assistive devices or personal assistance.

Adapted from The Seven Principles of Universal Design by Rosemarie Rossetti (Dec 2006)