Overview of research projects

Since the start in 2004, the Human Centred Design research group has incorporated 13 PhD research projects, all developing new use anticipating design methods, however focussing on different aspects, i.e.:

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integration of scenario based design with the use of virtual reality and gaming techniques. This approach enables future users to compose a product according to their needs and directly evaluate this design within expected use scenarios through simulation (see also Figure 1), thereby revealing their actual needs and wishes to the designer (Researcher: Martijn Tideman, MSc. Graduated: Spring 2008);

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supporting the design process by providing tools to investigate the interactions between potential users and potential products by means of a synthetic environment, in particular the requirements for such a synthetic (partly virtual, partly real) environment and the way it should be incorporated in the design process in order to optimize the added value (Researcher: Jan Miedema, MSc. Graduated: Winter 2010) (IOP-IPCR project ‘Synthetic Environments’);

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formalisation of the definition of scenarios in order to enable semi-automatic generation and selection of relevant scenarios by identifying the relevant components of a scenario in each of its application forms and the criteria used for scenario selection by designers in practice (Researcher: Irene Anggreeni, MSc. Graduated: autumn 2010);

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reducing usability problems with electronic consumer 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 methodology of scenario-based design is expanded to incorporate knowledge regarding the interaction between product design, user characteristics, and user behaviour resulting from the research project “Design for Usability” (involving the three Dutch Universities of Technology) as a whole. (Researcher: Frederik Hoolhorst, Graduated: Fall 2012) (IOP-IPCR project ‘Design for Usability’);

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supporting designers in dealing with the dynamics of a use situation, i.e. the variety in characteristics and goals of users as well as variety in the circumstances under which a product is used, in order to design a product that addresses the needs and wishes of users in all situations (Researcher: Mieke Brouwer, MSc. Graduated: Fall 2012, cum laude)(IOP-IPCR project ‘Design for Usability’);

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Resolving the paradox in user-centred design by deploying virtual reality technologies in the early stages of a user-centred design process (Researcher: Jos Thalen, MSc. Graduated: Fall 2013) (IOP-IPCR project ‘RePar’);

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incorporating human factors as an integral part of the design process of advanced driver assistance systems. Traditionally, human factors is only incorporated in the analysis and evaluation phases. Aim is to support engineers to also include human factors during synthesis activities. (Researcher: Boris van Waterschoot, MSc. Graduated: Fall 2013);

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developing a surgical robotic manipulation system for the new generation of flexible instruments, that increases the opportunities of minimal invasive surgery. Specific attention will be paid to intuitive control by means of haptic feedback, visual information and working posture. (Researcher: Jeroen Ruiter, MSc., Graduated: Fall 2013, part-time) (PIDON project ‘Teleflex’);

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facilitating user participation in the design of medical appliances. Aim is to improve the usability and “experience” of complex medical appliances and treatment systems through active involvement of users in problem analysing, design evaluating as well as design generating activities. (Researcher: Julia Garde, MSc. Graduated: Winter 2013, part-time);

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expanding human activity by designing architectural space: Expansive Design. (Researcher: Frederick Constant van Amstel, MSc. Expected end date: Winter 2015) (Cooperation with Construction Engineering Department);

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developing a driver-interface for transitions between automated and non-automated driving, optimized for user-acceptance and at the same time fulfilling requirements regarding safety and traffic performance. (Researcher: Arie Paul van den Beukel, MSc. Expected end date: spring 2016, part-time);

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Investigation and Development of Driver Support for a Cooperative Approach in Automated Vehicle Driving (Researcher: Joseph Urhahne. Expected end date: Summer 2016) (Cooperation with Ford Forschungszentrum Köln);

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Developing a serious gaming environment to disseminate the outcome of RiverCare projects providing high accessibility and usability to all stakeholders, in particular end-users (decision makers) (Researcher: Robert-Jan den Haan, MSc. Expected end date: Fall 2019, part-time) (STW Perspectief programme RiverCare).