We strive 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 an in-house employee-based product tester system 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 test room, we have installed equipment that allows clear, detailed observation and recording of the behavior and actions of testers 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 2017, the user manual for the Rapiim Eye 10 protein analyzer made by Canon Medical Systems won a Safety Award and an Honorable Mention Award at the 2017 Japan Manual Contest. Sponsored by the Japan Technical Communicators Association, and regarded as the most prestigious event of its kind in Japan, the contest aims to improve manual quality and develop the skills of manual writers.
The Rapiim Eye 10 manual was highly praised for features such as multiple illustrations along with optimized font sizes and layouts, which made this product manual for medical professionals, characteristically filled with difficult, specialized jargon, easier to read and understand.
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.
Canon will continue to develop products for a wider range of customers. Planned improvements include efforts to improve the visibility of visual information.
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 are sharing information on universal design both inside and outside the company.
In partnership with the Japan Braille Library, Canon has conducted research into the everyday challenges faced by the visually impaired. We aim to use such feedback to develop better products.
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 multifunction devices for offices features voice guidance and voice recognition for basic commands, allowing for easier use by the visually impaired. Pinch-in and pinch-out touch features for the LCD operation screen have also been added to enable people with low vision to operate these devices by increasing the size of buttons and words on the display.