CTIT University of Twente
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Design for Usability

Project coordination CTIT: Dr. Mascha van der Voort & Dr. Peter-Paul Verbeek
Faculty of Engineering Technology & Faculty of Behavioural Science
Tel.: +31 53 489 2541 / +31 53 489 4460
Email: m.c.vandervoort@utwente.nl / p.p.c.c.verbeek@utwente.nl


The goal of this project is to reduce usability problems with electronic products by developing and offering companies a coherent design methodology to anticipate expectations and needs of users on the one hand, and product influences on use practices on the other. The integral approach will focus on (i) user problems as a consequence of a mismatch between user and designer expectations about the product (ii) the user characteristics in relation to types of products and use-situations; (iii) product impact on user behaviour; (iv) company processes including product development and after-sales service; and (v) design methodology, expanding the existing approach of scenario-based design to incorporate the interaction between product design, user characteristics, and user behaviour. Next, the design methodology (including methods and techniques), which supports the design of products with a high level of usability, will be developed, implemented and followed by an evaluation.

The project is a collaboration of the 3 Technical Universities of The Netherlands, Delft (Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering), Eindhoven (Faculty of Technology Management) and Twente (Faculty of Engineering Technology and Faculty of Human Sciences), together with the companies Philips, Océ, Thales and the design agency Indes.

Outcome of this project is a design methodology that:

  • supports the designer in obtaining an accurate, reliable and complete overview of the future use practice of the product,
  • offers procedures for product quality testing, based on realistic product use, and tailored to specific product categories and situations,
  • not just focuses on generating requirements and specs, but guides the total process of designing, selling and after-sales user assistance,
  • takes into account the influence of both user characteristics and product characteristics on the formation of use practices,
  • is suited for the design and development practice for different product and company types,
  • provides a dedicated approach for after-sale services that is able to deal with use practices in a business wise optimal way,
  • and deals with the ethical questions regarding behaviour monitoring and steering in product design.

Project duration: 2007 - 2011
Project budget: 1.83 M-€
Number of person/years: 23.55 fte
Project Coordinator: TU Delft
Participants: TUD-Applied ergonomics and design, TUe-quality and reliability engineering, UT-Design, production and Management, UT-Philosophy, Philips Applied Technologies, Oce technologies, Thales and Indes.
Project budget CTIT: ~ 600 k-€
Number of person/years CTIT: 2.4 fte
Involved groups: Design, Production and Management (DPM), Philosophy