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User capabilities  download this page as PDF

This section provides information about user capabilities such as vision, hearing, thinking and mobility. The framework section describes how these capabilities relate to a user's product experience, and explains how population data can be interpreted and used to improve design. It also explains how the design guidance in the following sections should be interpreted.

The remaining sections examine individual capabilities. For each, the effects of capability loss and the crucial functions for product interaction are described. Then design guidance and population statistics are provided.

Note that this section breaks down "Reach & dexterity" into "Reach & stretch" and "Dexterity"; and divides "Thinking" into "Thinking" and "Communication", to match the capabilities used in the Disability Follow-up Survey.


Presents a model for the relationship between user capabilities and product experience.


Contains information on visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, colour perception and usable visual field.


Contains information on sound detection, speech discrimination and sound localisation.


Contains information on perception, working memory, long-term memory, attention, visual thinking and verbal thinking.


Contains information on visual and non-verbal communication.

Reach & stretch

Contains information on reaching up, and out to the side.


Contains information on pushing, pinch gripping and power gripping.


Contains information on walking, managing steps and getting in and out of chairs.


The "User capabilities" section was authored by Pat Langdon and Sam Waller


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