Adaptability and flexibility (standardisation and modularity) embody the application of the seven principles of universal design.  Good examples include ‘plug and play’ computer technology; and, applications, ‘apps’, for i-Pod touch and other hand-held computer products.

Standardisation and modularity are engineering conventions that enable adaptability and flexibility of functions. Using a standardised physical or electronic interface reduces costs and offers the maximum options within a product. (Burkitt 1995, Torrens 1996) The same principles may be applied to a product service.  There are many good references that describe both modularity and standardisation (Ulrich 2000).

Useful links

Torrens, G.E., Marshall, R., Burkitt, J. and Kay, G., Using modularity to produce more competitive assistive technology products, Proceedings of the 13th Irish Manufacturing Committee , Limerick, Ireland, 1996, pp 797-804 Available at: ( , Accessed: [23/052015]

Ulrich, K.T., 2012. Product design and development. Tata McGraw-Hill Education, Avvailable at: (, Accessed: [21/01/2021]