In Second Year, I worked in a group with Siyun (Sisley) Hu, Yanzi (Cindy) Xin, and Yuan Ting (Stephy) Chang for our Inclusive Design class. We went through a series of iterations before our final iteration (Work Together).
At first we tried to make a game which people who were blind could play – so a sound based game. We went through a few iterations and versions of games to play but the main problem was that it was hard for us to tell if the game worked or not.
At this point we asked Steve Engels, a professor at the University of Toronto, who is also a game designer and has worked on Accessible Games before for help. He got us in contact with Daniel Zingaro, a colleague of Steve’s who is blind himself. They helped us tremendously throughout the process.
Our professor, Jorge Silva, gave us critical insight and said our design was not helping anyone. It was safe and would do what we designed it to but how was it changing anything? This got us thinking that what we were doing was trying to solve a problem as opposed to looking at the problem itself and offering a new way to look at it.
Our final iteration was Work Together which let a sighted and non-sighted person play simultaneously together to beat a level within a time limit. You can check out user reviews and suggestions of Work Together here.
The exercise of designing for the differently abled was in all honestly extremely stressful but very rewarding. I don’t think I would do it again any time soon by myself but I would like working on something like this with a group who has greater insight than me. Working on something like this helps you to expand your view of the world and try to think more out of the box when you are designing something.
Final Write-Up: MDP FINAL REPORT