Thousands of hours have been spent researching, designing and ensuring brand experiences are comfortable for all people, including the less-abled. New standards have been introduced, new laws have been laid and new policies have been checked. In the UK construction industry, a series of Approved Documents have been made to ensure and support building regulation in England. They are designed to develop designs to ensure that people are able to access and use buildings and their facilities.
1. Interaction and experience
Buildings are now developed with the best intentions. Functionally, the able and less able should comfortably be supported in any new environment. However, do buildings aesthetically support the less abled? User experience is typically defined for describing the way users interact and react to a digital space such as a website or application. User experience should be defined as that process but for any instance of interaction. Do modern buildings provide this experience for the less abled? Do brands?
I would assume that the deaf-blind community (read more at Sense) are often deprived of brand experiences. The colours, patterns, logos, fonts and shapes that help define the visual identity of a brand could be lost in a sea of disruption or darkness. The sounds, tones and beats that create an audible identity could be lost in a muffle or a piercing echo of nothing. Then what?
A personal or business philosophy is the exact reason I enjoy helping others develop brands. Although the visual and audible aspects of a brand are very important to a brand, they should not be vital. A brand’s true power follows its story, its values, and beliefs. People understand people, no matter what the variables are.
In a building, it can be hard to present a brand without visual identity. A brand should entail a whole user’s brand experiences, not the other way around.
(Image modified, credit: Ben Churchill)