Saunders and colleagues report that wearing facemasks impedes communication; design may, via whiteboards, new signage, etc., partially compensate for this impairment. As the Sanders team reports, “An online survey consisting of closed-set and open-ended questions [was] distributed within the UK to gain insights into experiences of interactions involving face coverings, and of the impact of face coverings on communication. . . . With few exceptions, participants reported that face coverings negatively impacted hearing, understanding, engagement, and feelings of connection with the speaker.
Many users of designed spaces and objects have sensory or psychological challenges that complicate their experiences in the physical world. These people might be visually impaired, deaf, depressed, or have ADHD or ASD, for example. Cognitive scientists have learned a great deal about how design can encourage positive life experiences for these individuals.
DeafSpace enhances user experience, regardless of sensory capabilities.
Create spaces for people with varying sensory capabilities.
A new student center at Gallaudet University supports deaf users in a number of ways. Others seem, on reflection, to be appropriate for any well-designed space.