University of Twente Student Theses


Onderzoek naa het gebruik van de product impact tool voor ontwerpers : een toepassing op energiebesparende apparaten

Eemeren, T. van (2009) Onderzoek naa het gebruik van de product impact tool voor ontwerpers : een toepassing op energiebesparende apparaten.

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Abstract:In this bachelorthesis research is performed to answer the question which recommendations can be for (re)design of an energy saving product based on product impact. First a theoretical framework is composed two answer the following questions: What theories can be found in literature about influence of behavior by technology and products that are relevant to use in the design process? And how can these theories be translated into a ‘product impact tool’ for designers? By applying this tool and evaluating the product recommendations can be done regarding the design of the product and the intended and actual use of the product. During orientation of the subject there was expected that scenarios and usability test would be useful to give more insight in product impact, and to draw conclusions about the impact of the product on different levels. Besides the theoretical framework and its application the assignment is performed at Home Automation Europe, a company located in Amsterdam. For HAE the product impact tool is investigated for a developed display for energy management in a home situation. In this way there is tried to find the intended goals of the display and in what way the product impact tool can lead to recommendations for a possible redesign. When formulating the goals of this project the ambition was high. However, at the start of the project the product impact tool was only known in concept, therefore the development into a more concrete tool was more time consuming than expected. Eventually the goal to make a theoretical framework, based on research to product impact and its possibilities for application in the design process, is achieved. This framework is translated to a first version of a product impact tool: a web application that can be used in different moments in the design process. The idea to perform usability test and scenario studies was not feasible, due to limited time issues. To narrow the assignment there is chosen to develop the tool in more detail. Based on several guidelines three strategies are made for redesign of an energy management display, regarding different intended impacts, which should initially be tested in usability tests. Evaluation of these strategies showed that the product impact tool should not be focused on the interface itself but more on the possibilities to anticipate on product impact. The focus should not be on the application of guidelines. The results could be useful in developing guidelines how to improve the interface. For the theoretical framework theories from different disciplines are used. The ideas of technical mediation are taken from philosophy of science. The postphenomenologic approach of Ihde and Verbeek are used to illustrate that the use of a product is determined by the interactions of the user with the product, and is not fixed. The different dimensions attributed to product impact are also based on this approach. The method of the tool itself is based on the concept of script, introduced by Bruno Latour. The script consists of prescriptions but also affordances, by Donald Norman, are important. Also use cues are used, which are based on theories of Boess and Kanis. It also appears that research to intended impact by design of a product is done several areas. Theories from these areas can be used in the development of the tool because they provide useful guidelines. Examples that are used in this thesis are: ‘Persuasive Technology’ by B.J. Fogg, ‘Design with Intent’ by Dan Lockton, ‘Design of Everyday Things’ by Norman and ‘Nudges’ by Thaler and Sunstein. To translate these theories into a useful framework they are included in the tool as a web application in Adobe Flash. The developed tool consists of three parts where 1) information is provided about product impact, 2) a reversed-thinking-session is facilitated and 3) results are structured and showed connected to appropriate guidelines. The tool is used in a session to look at the energy management display of HAE, developed by Eaton Holec. The method and results of the tool where unfortunately not sufficient, so no recommendations for this display can be made. However the session has resulted in several recommendations for improvement of the product impact tool itself.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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