Recently, I stumbled across this article on smashing magazine, one of my favorite blogs on design & development. Most specifically, i enjoyed the author's POV on what inclusive design really means: accessibility and empowerment for all user's no matter their skill level. It's also a great snapshot on Language, Aesthetics, and Adaptive Interfaces and their role in Inclusive Design. I copied my favorite excerpt from the article down below. Take a look. And you have a to check out Nest - The Learning Thermostat.
An excellent example of software that has done this well is in the video game genre, going back as far as 1985 with Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. It was a game that truly anyone could pick up and play, with an invisible interface that taught you everything you needed to know to get started and become good at it. The screen would only scroll right, so you couldn’t walk left. You could jump, but standing on top of special bricks did nothing, so you would try to jump against them from below. Pipes visibly led down, so you’d try your luck with the down arrow on the direction pad. And at the end of the level, the bonus flag was raised high, encouraging competitive players to jump to the very peak for top points. All of the game’s mechanics were explained in one level, without a single instruction, tutorial or guiding word.
Many games since 1985 have not featured this principle to any significant degree. Super Mario Bros. truly was a game whose interface was equally empowering; meaning, the interface and product magnified the results of your efforts based on the (skill) level of your input. Put differently, beginners would see good results from their efforts, while advanced users would see far greater results from theirs. These principles aren’t limited to video game design either; they apply just as much to software applications and productivity tools, even websites! So, let’s start with some simple inclusive design concepts.