Design Requirement Data and the Older Adult

DS 58-5: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 5, Design Methods and Tools (pt. 1), Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Thomson, Avril Isabel; Carse, Bruce; Stansfield, Ben
Series: ICED
Section: Design Methods and Tools
Page(s): 429-440


It is well recognised that many products do not meet the requirements of the rapidly growing older adult population. The research described in this paper aims is to provide designers with relevant and useable older adult requirement data. Data relating to older adults capabilities is being produced largely by the biomechanics community however, there is little evidence of its adoption. This project focussed specifically on the design of everyday consumer packaging. Poorly designed packaging can present a significant barrier to achieving one of the most important basic activities of daily living - being able to feed oneself. Initially a study of practising designers was conducted to establish how they currently design for older adults. An Observational Video Study followed which examined 60-90 year old adults opening packaging, from which typical opening strategies were identified. Relevant "new" design data was extracted from the observational video study and presented to packaging designers in a series of interviews together with typical biomechanical data. These interviews established exactly what data designers want and the best formats for integration in the design process.

Keywords: : design data, design requirements, older adults, packaging, biomechanics, Inclusive Design


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