Accessibility features are becoming more prominient and widely accepted in all aspects of life. From theatre to video games, product designers are recognizing the importance of inclusive design. Duncan McKean has managed to apply these concepts to one of the most popular and mentally challenging board games – chess.
Although this game was created with intent to include those with visual impairments, a seeing person could also play this game. In making this set accessible, McKean uses features that appeal to physical perception as opposed to only visual. Each piece is held in it’s place on the board by a magnet, while the different values of each piece is characterized by different weights. Having different physically perceivable patterns on each piece makes it easy to recognize which is being moved. Player pieces are distinguished by the material the pieces are made of – one player has hardwood pieces while the other has metallic steel.