University of Twente Student Theses


Ontwerpen met de Product Impact Tool

Belle, J.S. van (2016) Ontwerpen met de Product Impact Tool.

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Abstract:This report describes the process of the development of the Product Impact Tool into a suitable design tool. The Product Impact Tool originates from the philosophy of technology and describes the different ways in which technology can influence individuals and society in a simplified model. The model can be used in a workshop to analyze the influence of a product on human and society. This is a new perspective designers can use to design better products in a way that is more socially engaged. In this assignment there is tried to make the Product Impact Tool better available to designers. First, the tool itself, the theory behind it and the design process are researched to find out how the Product Impact Tool can fit best into the existing design process. The research showed the tool can be of most use in the conceptual phase of the design process, because it is relatively easy to make adjustments to the concept of the product. Next to that, it appeared that every designer has a different way and expertise of designing, which results in the requirement for the tool to be flexible in usage, so every designer can easily fit it into its own process. Designers usually have a very practical process, which means that the tool should consist of a physical model and focus on the applicability instead of all the theory. These requirements are the base on which the Product Impact Tool is extended. First, multiple ideas were created for the different requirements, which are all combined in a morphological matrix. Four different concepts for the tool were made in the matrix, differentiating in physical model and working method. The concepts are the ‘brainstom session’, the ‘perspectives session’, the ‘product impact cards’ and the ‘product impact dices’. After evaluating the concepts, the ‘perspectives session’ is chosen to elaborate into a finalized concept for the tool, it consists of a neat physical model and can very well support designers by learning the new perspectives. The elaborated concept of the tool consists of a toolset with worksheets, harmonica books, a rotating disc and a dice. In a workshop the designers can brainstorm for ideas to improve the concept of the product. In two workshop sessions, with experienced as well as student designers, the concept of the tool is tested. The goal of the research was to test if the extended Product Impact Tool can help designers in reality to design for better interaction between human and product. The research showed an interest in the tool by the participants and they certainly have collected new insights during the sessions. However, in the usability of the tool are some improvements to be made to better fit more experienced designers. Based on the results of the workshop sessions, a proposal for a definitive concept for the tool was made. The working method in the session still exists of the two phases, with the assignment for the designers to brainstorm about the problems and corresponding solutions of the product.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:21 art forms
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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