[Design Story] Designs for All Abilities

on May 18, 2023
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Stories of People Creating New Possibilities


When innovative technology meets great design, our lives can become more convenient. Samsung Newsroom spoke with inspiring people who use Samsung products and features to unlock new possibilities and enhance their lives.



Exploring the World Together


It is only natural for parents to want to share special moments together with their children, especially as they grow curious about the world and find joy in discovering new things. For parents with visual impairments, exploring the world with children requires a different approach.


“This is an apple, and this is a puppy.”


Children often point at objects they don’t know as they grow up and learn about their surroundings. With Bixby Vision for accessibility, parents with visual impairments can find out what their children are curious about as the device narrates for them. Even if parents aren’t able to see what’s in front of them, they can experience the world with their children through sound.


[Bixby Vision for Accessibility]


With an easy setup and simple interface, Bixby Vision vocally describes what it sees, helping people make sense of the world around them. Bixby Vision supports scene describer,1 object identifier,2 text reader and color detector.


* On smartphones and tablets: Settings → Accessibility → Spoken assistance → Bixby Vision for accessibility
** Service availability and content providers may vary by country, device, OS and One UI version.



Enjoying the World Together


Everyone is different — even members of the same family. For CODA3 families, hearing children converse with their parents who are deaf through sign language. As children grow up, parents want to learn more about what their children are experiencing and enjoying.


“Mom, look at that. Isn’t it funny?”


With Sign Language Zoom, it’s easier for CODA parents to better understand what their children are watching through a bigger sign language screen. Now, the entire family can enjoy their time in front of the TV and share even more laughter and joy together.


[Sign Language Zoom]


Sign Language Zoom automatically recognizes and enlarges the sign language area, enabling users who are deaf to see more detailed mouth and facial expressions. You can specify a sign language area and adjust the magnification by up to 200%. Users who are deaf or hard of hearing can also use this function to zoom in on a specific area of the screen, such as scores for sporting events or quiz programs.


* On TVs: Home → Menu → Settings → All settings → General & Privacy → Accessibility → Sign Language Zoom Settings
** Available on all Samsung Smart TVs released in 2021 or later.



Sharing With the World


Each and every one of us is different, with our physical abilities changing over time. Given the diverse range of experiences being lived by others around the world, it is important that everyone feels empowered to do what they want, meet who they want and live the life they want.


“I want to inspire people through social media.”


People with physical disabilities can seamlessly take, edit and share selfies on social media using the Assistant menu on Samsung smartphones or tablets. With the Assistant menu, everyone can use their personal devices to communicate and meet new friends.


[Assistant menu]


The Assistant menu lets you easily control your phone by simply tapping a shortcut icon to access hardware buttons, apps, features and other settings.


* On smartphones and tablets: Settings → Accessibility → Interaction and dexterity → Assistant menu

Staying in Tune With the World


For people who are deaf and hard of hearing, navigating the world can take a different shape. With this in mind, it’s important for them to receive everyday notifications in new ways.


“Light can become a language of its own.”


Light can help those who are deaf and hard of hearing receive the information they need in their day-to-day life. SmartThings uses lighting to notify users when someone’s at the door, when meals are ready or when the laundry is done. Light has become a way to communicate through SmartThings.




Sync your devices and appliances via the SmartThings app to control and get notifications about your air conditioner, washing machine, fridge and more.* Then, connect partner products such as door sensors, lights and thermostats to automate and simplify your own day-to-day routine** — like setting your smart light to dim or change colors once the laundry is done.


* To set notifications

  • On smartphone and tablets: SmartThings app → Menu → Notifications → More () → Notification settings
  • On TVs released in 2021 or later: SmartThings app → Settings → Notifications

TV notifications are limited to minimize any interruptions to the viewing experience.

** To set SmartThings routines

  • SmartThings app → Automations → Add (+) Create routine



Possibilities Never Before Imagined

Samsung believes these stories can foster a world where all people benefit from the convenience enabled by technology.


Users with disabilities have utilized Samsung’s features in creative ways to enhance their lives — despite the fact that some functions were not originally designed as accessibility features. To this end, Samsung has provided new ways for users to interact with its products and services and has taken inspiration from real-life cases to develop stories with guidance from the Samsung Accessibility Committee4 and Samsung Family Supporters.5


Samsung hopes to continue creating accessible designs that unlock new possibilities so everyone will be empowered to lead meaningful, independent lives.


From the UX Team of the Corporate Design Center, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.




* This article consists of stories based on interviews with people with disabilities and guidance from Samsung Family Supporters, an organization made up of Samsung employees and family members with disabilities.
** Illustrations by KIMUSTUDIO, an organization working with talented designers with developmental disabilities who create artistic pieces that challenge long-held stereotypes that have previously created prejudices in art.



1 Scene describer mode currently supports English (US), French, German, Italian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish (Spain).
2 Object identifier mode supports 54 languages, which are the same languages supported in the translation feature.
3 CODA is an acronym for Children of Deaf Adults, referring to children raised by at least one guardian who is deaf.
4 The Samsung Accessibility Committee works closely together with designers and developers to continuously improve the accessibility experience for all Samsung users.
5 Together with Samsung Family Supporters, consisting of Samsung employees and family members with disabilities, Samsung assesses the needs of users across the spectrum to create ease of use for all.

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