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Activity 5: Develop Design

The developing design should be co-ordinated with technical aspects including structural and building services information.

architects working on a project

This is the stage at which the design is being fully developed. At this point, activities focus on verification with users to pinpoint deviations, alterations and progressions from the original project plan to ensure that changes comply with the Inclusive Design guidelines. Make sure all team members in this phase share goals that reflect findings and feedback from users, especially new team members who are brought in alongside the core team.


  • Multiple solutions: It may be impossible to find one solution that fits everyone in an appropriate way. Create a combination of different options that can cover diverse needs and abilities. Inclusive Design is about providing choice. 
  • On-site testing with people: Use models, drawings, and even full-scale prototypes to trial your designs. These could represent elements of your scheme such as an entranceway or part of a space or could look at specific details such as choice of materials. Move beyond traditional communication, such as two-dimensional images and scale models, to include mockups, virtual reality, and immersive experiences to engage people.
  • Ongoing design reviews: It is important that all drawings and specifications are reviewed on an ongoing basis throughout the design process to ensure that the Inclusive Design guidelines and brief have been followed. These updated design reviews should be recorded and circulated amongst the team members and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Engaging contractors in the process: Inclusive Design issues are often overlooked during design and construction phases, so decide how to educate and involve your contractors and sub-contractors. This could involve some non-traditional solutions, such as embedding the working team within the community or having user representatives join them as project contributors.


Testing the solution in detail and prototyping elements for assessment makes sure that user needs are considered as the construction begins and can help steer a project away from costly mistakes. This is also a way of ensuring a more innovative, people-friendly outcome. Capturing research and early feedback will provide you with an evidence base that can help reassure stakeholders about on-site decisions.