People with development disorders, for instance autism, need structured plans to help create predictability in their daily lives. Digital plans can facilitate enhanced independency, learning, and quality of life, but existing apps are largely general purpose and lack the flexibility required by this specific but heterogeneous user group. Universal design is both a goal and a process and should be based on a holistic approach and user-centered design, interacting with the users in all stages of the development process. At Oslo and Akershus University College (HiOA) we conducted a research-based teaching project in co-operation with the Department of Neuro-habilitation at Oslo University Hospital (OUS) with two employees acting as project managers and students as developers. Three groups of Computer Science bachelor students developed digital prototypes for a planning tool for young adults with pervasive development disorders, who live either with their families or in supervised residences, and do not receive extensive public services. The students conducted the initial planning phase of the software development process, focusing on prototyping the system requirements, whilst a professional software company programmed the end solution. The goal of the project was to develop flexible and adaptive user-oriented and user-specific app solutions for tablets that can aid this diverse user group in structuring daily life, whereby, for example, photos of objects and places known to the individual user replace general pictures or drawings, and checklists can be elaborate or sparse as necessary. The three student groups worked independently of each other and created interactive working prototypes based on tests, observations and short interviews with end users (both administrators and residents) and regular user feedback from the project managers. Three very different solutions were developed that were of high enough quality that an external software company were able to continue the work and create a beta version of the app. The first phase in software development process is always challenging and time consuming. Using a research-based teaching approach allowed us to not only save time and expense in the development phase, but, importantly, allowed us to thoroughly investigate a variety of aspects of the problem to create an accessible solution, whilst leveraging our students' knowledge, competencies and creativity. The next stage will be to evaluate the beta version of the app and study its impact on the user's quality of life. Although the end solution is designed for a specific user group, the built-in flexibility of its structure and function means there is the inherent potential to open it up to all users. The universal benefit lies in the flexibility of the solution.