The Design for All special prize is awarded for work that improves the user friendliness and experience of a product or a service. The solution must be inclusive of the needs of a wide variety of people. The winner of the Design for All special prize must also receive an Award for Design Excellence.
Blanke Ark Polling stations
Blanke Ark is a new polling station that is applicable nationwide which all of Norway’s municipalities will be invited to implement. The installation is reasonably priced, easy to fit and requires little storage space. The solution is intended to provide a uniform design for elections throughout the country, simplify the organisational aspects and reduce costs in relation to holding them.
The initial impression of Blanke Ark is of a fresh and modern expression of style that points to something formal and serious at the same time. The accessibility of the solution is very convincing. The system has good physical proportions with information that is easy to read and understand. The deliberate use of shape, colour and graphic symbols simplifies the election process for everyone.
Blanke Ark is a well-designed concept that caters for all users in the voting process. If the system is used at local and parliamentary elections, greater recognition will be achieved. The jury has no doubt that Blanke Ark will simplify the election process for all organisers and eligible voters.
Blanke Ark deserves the Design for All special prize for a number of reasons. The solution won the Award for Design Excellence in two categories: Industrial Design and Visual Communication. If it also wins the Design for All special prize, it will be due to its deliberate and professionally implemented design on many levels.
Blanke Ark employs the principles of Design for All by being a design for a wide variety of people, which means that the design
provides functionality to people, regardless of age, sex, cultural background or ability. This is illustrated by the examples below:
The visual profile is successfully adapted to address a wide variety of people through its simplicity in shape and colour, good use of contrast and provision of information that meets the needs of everyone. It provides the basis for everyone to be able to obtain the information, regardless of reading difficulties, impaired vision, level of orientation or comprehension. Text and symbols are displayed in black on a white background and the deliberate use of orange attracts greater attention to selected elements. Orange guide tape provides a good contrast against most floors.
The booths have open and generous access, with a curtain that can be opened and closed using a rod for the convenience of wheelchair users. The colour of the rod (orange) is in strong contrast to the light curtain. This also makes it easy for the visually impaired to see. The interior of the booth is suitable for a diversity of people and has tabletops at two levels – high and low, suitable both for those who are standing or sitting.
The ballot papers are placed between the two tabletops and meet the need for a serviceable height for wheelchair users. The labelling of the ballot shelves is characterised by good contrast, font and point size that caters for the blind and partially sighted. The fact that the ballot papers are folded and not put into an envelope is a significant benefit to many voters. The lighting in the booths benefits everyone. Reading conditions are improved and it is also easy to see which booths are occupied – occupied if the curtain is closed, free if the curtain is pulled back and the light is visible.
The ballot box is in an attractive shape and colour and also meets the needs of people with reduced mobility and visually impaired. Everything leads effectively to the opening of ballot papers. The contrasting colour of orange used for the funnel area emphasise focus on the opening, the shape of which makes things easier for those with an unsteady hand or visual impairment. If the ballot box is placed on a standard height table, everyone will be able to cast their vote by their own hand.
Company: Kommunal- og regionaldepartementet, og Norsk Form
Project group company: Kommunal- og regionaldepartementet: - Marianne Riise - Ingvild Andrea Tellmann - Tom Refsum Aatlo - - Norsk Form: - Heidi Dolven - Siri Eggesvik - Deltasenteret, Norges Handikapforbund, Norges Blindeforbundet og valgmedarbeidere fra kommunene.
Project group design company: Blueroom Designstudio, og Innovativoli Industridesign
Award / year: Special Awards - 2010
Category: Inclusive Design Award