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Design Science Journal
Papers

Engaging large class with inclusive design through the use of simulation tools and interdisciplinary collaboration

Engaging large class with inclusive design through the use of simulation tools and interdisciplinary collaboration

Year: 2010

Section: USER-CENTRED AND INTERACTION DESIGN

Editor: Boks W; Ion, W; McMahon, C and Parkinson B

Author: Dong, Hua; Spiliotoupoulou, Georgia

Section: USER-CENTRED AND INTERACTION DESIGN

Pages: 260-265

Abstract

A user-centred approach and interdisciplinary team work are increasingly becoming important in the
learning and teaching of design. Whilst it is good practice to introduce relevant theories to design
students, it is challenging to organise course projects that involve different disciplines. It is also
difficult to help design students appreciate users’ real needs if the user population (e.g. people with
severe disabilities) is unfamiliar to the students. This paper reports a project that aims to explore how
simulation tools can be used in helping students understand users and their contexts of use; and how
design students work with volunteering occupational therapy (OT) students in answering a healthcare
design brief. The project is a roll-out of a successful pilot study. The student participants were asked to
answer a questionnaire before and after the project, and to attend a focus group interview at the end of
the project to reflect on their experience. Data were collected regarding the usefulness of the
simulation tools, and the benefits of working in an interdisciplinary team. Suggestions were made in
learning design through the use of simulation tools and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Keywords: Simulation tools, interdisciplinary collaboration, questionnaires, interviews, healthcare design

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