Managing Input During Assistive Technology Product DesignBy Choi, Young Mi; Assistive Technology, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 65-75
Publication Date: 2011
Study compared the impact of three types of input provided during the development process on the final design of an assistive technology (AT) product. A device to aid users with limited dexterity to tape closed a box was selected as the design task for the study. Eight design teams of industrial design students were recruited to independently design a working prototype of the device while receiving one of the three types of input: from simulation tools including gloves and mitts that restricted hand and finger movement, from occupational therapists, and from end users with limited dexterity due to disabilities including stroke, spinal cord injury, and cerebral palsy. Two teams acting as controls received no input during the design phase. Evaluation of the fabricated devices was performed with 20 users with dexterity limitations who used each device to tape closed a box and completed an evaluation survey. Results showed that direct input from simulation tools, occupational therapists, or users during the design of an AT device appeared to improve an end user’s rating of effectiveness and satisfaction with the device in some cases. Based on study results, the authors conclude that while more input during design seems desirable, it must be incorporated in a way that is timely, useful to designers, and cost effective for an AT company.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)