SUPPORTING INCLUSIVE PRODUCT DESIGN WITH VIRTUAL USER MODELS AT THE EARLY STAGES OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Year: 2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Dong, A.
Author: Kirisci, Pierre Taner (1); Thoben, Klaus-Dieter (1); Klein, Patrick (1); Modzelewski, Markus (2)
Section: Design Methods and Tools Part 1
Page(s): 80-90

Abstract

The aim of inclusive product design is to successfully integrate human factors in the product development process with the intention of making products accessible for the largest possible group of users. In order to meet the challenge of inclusive product design, the involvement of human users in all phases of the development process has so far been an efficient approach. Yet, such ergonomics evaluation experiments that employ a versatility of user groups are not only complex, but can be very time and cost-intensive. Therefore, virtual user models (VUM) have been proposed for supporting certain phases of the product development process.

In this paper a model-based design approach is proposed, which supports inclusive design of consumer products at the early stages of product development. Accordingly the objective of this paper is to explore how virtual user models can be used for inclusive product design and to conceptualize user interfaces of consumer products in such a way that even the needs of users with physical impairments are fully considered, without the necessity of incorporating users in the traditional way.

Keywords: VIRTUAL USER MODELS; PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT; MODEL-BASED DESIGN APPROACHES; INCLUSIVE PRODUCT DESIGN

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