Learning from a design experience: Continuous user involvement in development of aging-in-place solution for older adults

DS 75-7: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.7: Human Behaviour in Design, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Lee, Chaiwoo; Myrick, Richard; Asai, Daisuke; Coughlin, Joseph F.; de Weck, Olivier L.
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: AgeLab, Engineering Systems Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America; 2: NTT Service Evolution Laboratories
Page(s): 437-446
ISBN: 978-1-904670-50-6
ISSN:  2220-4334


Involving users during product development has been discussed as an important approach to user-centered design, in particular to avoid overemphasis on using “technology for technology’s sake”. This paper presents a case study of the user-driven processes and methods involved in a product development research project, the e-Home for Seniors study. The case study maps the development activities to phases of a generic product development framework. The specific methods of continuous interaction with users, research experiences, and team characteristics are examined in detail, as well as mechanisms to allow user input to be easily incorporated throughout the development cycle. Insights for development of products targeted at older adults, many also relevant to the general population, are discussed to inform researchers and practitioners.

Keywords: Design methods, new product development, user centered design, design for aging population, field study


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