Specifying an Inclusive Model of Product-User Interaction

DS 58-4: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 4, Product and Systems Design, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Mieczakowski, Anna; Langdon, Patrick; Clarkson, P. John
Series: ICED
Section: Product and Systems Design
Page(s): 143-154


In order to design more usable and accessible products and services, designers require quick techniques to better understand how people interpret and use different interface features. A triangulated study was conducted, including a literature review, an evaluation of existing models of product-user interaction and observations with twenty users of washing machines. The study investigated the formation of users' cognitive representations of products and searched for a simple and effective method for modelling product-user interaction. In particular, the study found that the appropriate representation of product-user interaction should consist of two elements: (1) information on the functional parts of products and how they work (declarative element) and (2) information on users' goals and actions (procedural element). The conceptual graph analysis (CGA) was identified as the most effective model for designers as it captures both elements of product-user interaction in one representation and it does so in a clear and simple manner. Further research will continue to evaluate other models similar in nature to the CGA model in order to find an inclusive model of product-user interaction.

Keywords: Inclusive Design, Mental Models, Product-User Interaction, Conceptual Graph Analysis


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