In Britain alone, people aged over fifty already have a combined annual income in excess of £160 billion. One in seven of Britain’s population are classed as disabled. This group is estimated to have an annual spending power of £50 billion.

Sprout can help you ‘to design mainstream products and services so as many people as possible can use them’. This is the definition of inclusive design and quite simply it means maximising the size of your market. Inclusive design is not about designing for a minority. Improvements to functionality that are made during the inclusive design process benefit all customers. In the same way that making a building accessible to wheelchair users also benefits people with pushchairs, an easier to use product is like to sell well because everyone finds it easier to use.

At Sprout, we use Inclusive Design as a way of innovating. For example, the user research done by us for B&Q directly led to innovative new product ideas. Understanding the problems people have by observing them first hand or through video ethnography allows us to come up with completely new ideas which are innovative and inclusive.

Sprout's products support your Corporate Social Responsibility programme by being inclusive as well as being environmentally friendly. Your policy on Diversity may include employment, but it is a powerful message to extend it to include the useability of your product range.

On 1st October 2004, the third and final phase of the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act came into force. This requires companies to "make reasonable adjustments to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access". (more details). The rights of older and disabled people are growing in prominence. Reflecting this are also government programmes like the UK Department of Trade and Industry’s EQUAL (Extend Quality Life) initiative. Although product design is not currently controlled by any inclusive design legislation currently, designing inclusively now will avoid expensive redesigns should legislation come into force in the future.

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