Since this project, we have continued to challenge ourselves, our design practice and our assumptions to find new ways to integrate human-centred design in ways that better serve the user. This has involved moving beyond just physical and visual design drivers – considering how integrated technology can build upon and enhance the user experience.
An exciting new space that Diadem is exploring is the use of app-based wayfinding systems that can guide people around spaces in the built environment. An example of this is BlindSquare, an accessible GPS that has been developed in collaboration with those that are blind or have low vision, and is designed to provide accessible travel directions, along with the names and locations of millions of Points of Interests.
The City of Melbourne has recently set up new ‘beacons’ along Bourke and Swanston Street, which, via the BlindSquare app, send audio messages about potential obstacles to users’ phone. The program, developed by Guide Dogs Victoria, is designed to aid navigation through the city – helping improve this experience for those that are blind, have low vision, or speak a language other than English (and so struggle to understand existing signage).