Better Experience #5: Accessible Staircases for Kids & the Elderly 👵🏽🧒🏻
A small detail that enhances the usability of staircases.
Better Experience Design is a collection of arbitrary encounters with everyday things that have given us either delightful or stressful experience.
1. What is it and what is the purpose?
Staircases are used to go up to the floor above or go down to the lower floor below. However, some people may find it hard to climb staircases. In this article, we’re going to focus on how to help the elderly and kids to be able to climb stairs easily by improving the railings of the staircases.
2. Why/When did I use it?
Railings are placed on staircases as a safety feature. To prevent people from falling down and as a supporting tool which they can hold while climbing or going down the stairs.
3. Was it a delightful or stressful experience? Why?
Can you see how awkward it is for the little girl to hold the railing? Because she is not tall enough to hold it properly, the risk of her falling down is higher than the risk of adults falling down the stairs.
In the picture below the railings looks beautiful aesthetically, but might not help the kid to climb the stairs. It might as well injure the kid as the vertical railings do not provide any safety measures at all (see the orange arrow). She might slip in between the gaps.
The same goes for elders. Some elders (or probably most of the elderly in Asia) are as tall as kids due to their decreasing height because of old age, or spinal injuries/conditions.
4. Can it be better?
Yes. Staircases with proper railings for kids and elders can be found in some places, although it has not been a standard yet. The only addition needed is an extra horizontal railing below the main railing.
The extra railings also add another layer of safety so that people won’t slip between the gaps of the vertical railing. Moreover, this additional railing could also help people with different genetics conditions such as dwarfism.
5. What do you think?
We think this might make a better experience for kids and elders who want to climb the stairs.
Let us know in the comments if you have any idea about how to make it even better and let’s discuss 😆
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