Design for Usability

Frederik Hoolhorst participates to the Design for Usability research program. This research program is a cooperation of the three technical universities within The Netherlands and the following four industrial partners: Philips, Thales, OCE and Indes. The research program focuses on manufacturers of electronic products and systems. These are more and more confronted with complaints from both consumers and professionals that are not related to technical or functional failures, but to an unexpected mismatch between the actual product use and the intended product use by the manufacturer. Due to this lack in usability, manufacturers for instance notice an increase of customer service costs and dissatisfied customers.

In industry, industrial design engineers in particular are dealing with product usability aspects. It is one of their main tasks to make complex technology understandable and accessible for users. However, up till now it seems that no design methodology exists that incorporates the knowledge and tools (techniques, methods) with regard to use problems, the influence of user characteristics and (future) product impact into one framework that allows adaptation to the design practice its being used in. Therefore, Frederik’ research focuses on the development of a method that incorporates above enounced aspects at the one hand and fits the applicability needs of design engineers at the other. In here ‘applicability needs’ refer to the typical way in which industrial design engineers approach design problems and the context in which design is performed.

Contact information

Frederik W.B. Hoolhorst, MSc / Phone +31 53 489 3192 /

Frederik Hoolhorst (1979) is a PhD student at the department of Engineering Technology of the University of Twente (NL). He received a bachelor degree from The Hague University of Professional Education (NL). After a one-year traineeship at the Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen (G), he graduated as an industrial design engineer at the Delft University of Technology (NL) in 2005. Afterwards he gained two years of experience as a product developer and turned back to university in June 2007.