Canon strives to develop products that different customers can use easily and with confidence.
With the aim of making products easy to operate, Canon conducts user tests through the in-house monitor system utilizing employees in the product development stage. We also ask in-house specialists to give us their assessment.
We objectively test human factors, including physical characteristics, perception, judgment, and operational skills, to develop products that customers can use comfortably and with ease.
In a dedicated monitor test room, we have installed equipment that allows clear and detailed observation and recording of the behavior and actions of monitors as they operate devices.
Along with improved product usability, Canon also works to increase the quality of user manuals to assist customers in using its products easily and safely.
In 2016, the user manual, guide to safety and important points, setup guide (main unit edition and connection edition), and basic operation manual for the PIXUS MG7730 (PIXMA MG7720 in North America; PIXMA MG7740 in Europe) won an Honorable Mention Award at the 2016 Japan Manual Contest in the paper manual/industrial category.
The contest is held by the Japan Technical Communicators Association with the goal of improving the quality of user manuals and developing the skills of manual writers, and is the most prestigious contest of its kind in Japan.
The PIXUS manual received high praise for its design and composition, which, while being intended for use by people with advanced technical knowledge, was outstanding not only in terms of searchability but also readability, usability, and portability.
With the aim of fostering the next generation of human resources, Canon has teamed up with universities around the world to hold special design classes.
In 2016, Canon conducted a special course at Zhejiang University in China at the request of the Japan Institute of Design Promotion. Held in a workshop format over eight days, the course proved to be a mutually beneficial exchange: the students received valuable design instruction while at the same time Canon gathered information about the needs of the students.
In total, we conducted 11 special courses, including one at an institute of technology in the Netherlands.
Canon strives to create people-friendly products by pursuing functionality, operability, and convenience from the customer’s perspective in actual usage situations. As part of this effort, we have adopted a universal design approach through which we endeavor to create products from a customer perspective from the design stage onward, facilitating use by all customers, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or physical ability. At Canon, we approach product design and development from the perspective of making the customer “look like a natural.”
For example, we conduct user-centric testing of displays, audible alerts, and voice guidance in our product controls, and check the extent to which terminology, icons, and other features match the perceptions of customers, so as to evaluate usability, accessibility, safety, comfort, and other criteria.
Information obtained via such testing is valuable in the development of more user-friendly products.
Aiming to further encourage efforts in universal design, Canon established a universal design policy and a companywide Universal Design Project (UDP).
Based on the policy and project, we prepared a booklet that addresses the physical characteristics of users and various issues that arise during product use and distributed it throughout the development division. We also created pamphlets and set up a website to inform customers about the UDP initiatives under way at Canon.
Through such means, we will continue to share information and promote universal design both inside and outside the company.
Canon is working to increase the accessibility of its products. Accessible products are those designed for easy use by all, including the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Section 508 of the United States Rehabilitation Act requires that agencies of the federal government only purchase products that meet stipulated accessibility standards. The results of Section 508 accessibility evaluations of Canon products have been collected into a VPAT* and made available on the Canon U.S.A. website.
Similar legislation is now being developed in Europe as well. Canon is committed to regularly gathering the latest information, and to developing products that are compliant with the accessibility requirements of each country.
The imageRUNNER ADVANCE series of multifunctional devices for offices features voice guidance and voice recognition for basic commands, allowing for easier use by the visually impaired. Also, in features were enhanced in 2015, pinch-in and pinch-out touch operation was introduced for the LCD operation screen, enabling even people with low vision to operate these devices by increasing the size of buttons and words on the display.