Project Designing for Specific users
This website is the result of the project Designing for Specific users (DSU) in the 7th module of the bachelor Industrial Design Engineering. The project's goal is to design a product together with a disabled user that will assist them in their daily lives. Instead of receiving a predefined design challenge, the goal is to find this challenge in cooperation with the participating user. Each group got assigned a different participant with a different disability. This participant is available for questions and is in the end the end user of the product that was designed during the project. The participant is available throughout the entire 9-week project.
The disability our participant has is called Ataxia, this is a degenerative disease that affects the cerebellum. The results of this disease are that the participants balance and coordination degenerate over time. Ataxia has many different forms. In our case, the participant is affected by the relatively mild SCA3 variant. This means that they still have full strength in their muscles.
The design challenge defined in cooperation with the participant was to design a device that enables the participant to connect his walker to his tricycle. This would enable the participant to go from his home to the supermarket autonomously. This design challenge solves several problems the participant encounters due to this disease. A good instance of this are his struggles to fold his walker without any support.
“The product must provide a solution, which ensures that the tricycle of the user is able to carry around the current walker of the user. ”
The final solution for the design challenge is the design shown on the right. It is a clamping mechanism that can be attached to the back basket of the tricycle. The product is mounted through a plate on the backside of the basket of the tricycle, providing stability. The participant can slide his walker along the “guides” on the right of the product. After the guides the walker slides into place and is retained by the parts depicted in red. Together with the lever, the participant can close and open the clamp and release the walker.
The different stages in the project that lead to this design are explained in detail on this website. The project started with a context-mapping study that gave the team more insight in the disease and the current living situation of the participant. Here the design challenge and requirements were formed. Afterwards, a solution was designed in several co-design sessions together with the participant. Finally, a prototype was built, and a testing plan was written in case of a testing opportunity.
The website can be navigated through with the navigation menu on the top of the screen.
Finding the context
Designing the solution
Prototyping the solution
Evaluating the solution