AT&T opens Universal Design methods to developers

AT&T announced it will publicly release its Universal Design methodology in an effort to encourage application developers and handset manufacturers to consider the needs of seniors and customers with disabilities when creating new mobile products and services. AT&T said principles of Universal Design--the practice of developing apps and products usable by the widest possible spectrum of subscribers--are employed in its fledgling Mobile Speak and Mobile Magnifier applications, which the operator released late last year to improve the user experience for customers suffering from impaired vision. AT&T said its methodology not only defines and explains the benefits of Universal Design but also several scenarios to further illustrate its relevance--the full document is available at

Developers must first submit applications created via Universal Design principles to AT&T for certification if they wish for the apps to be available on the operator's Media Mall mobile site. Consumers who download premium applications will be billed by AT&T, which will split revenues with the developer. "It is our goal that the concept of 'design for all' is not viewed as a constraint but as a catalyst for innovation across the industry," said AT&T Mobility vice president of marketing Carlton Hill in a prepared statement. "We believe that, by making our methodology on Universal Design available for all to see, we can show the importance and value of creating wireless products and services that are usable and beneficial to as many people as possible. The end result will be more choices for more consumers."

For more on AT&T's Universal Design specs:
-read this release