An Exploratory Study on the Effectiveness of an Inclusive Design Tool With a Metric to Evaluate Inclusivity of Conceptual Designs
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Inclusive design aims to provide equitable use of a product irrespective of the user's ability. Currently, sufficient tools are not available for practicing inclusive design. Recent research efforts have developed a method for inclusive design during the conceptual phase; the method consists of applying an empirically derived set of inclusive design rules to the actionfunction diagram of a product. This exploratory study investigates the effectiveness of this inclusive design representation scheme in generating ideas for conceptual design. An experiment is conducted in which participants generate ideas for an inclusive product design with and without the inclusive design representation scheme. The participants are also trained to use the representation scheme before implementing it in the experimental condition. Presently, there is no pre-defined metric to measure the inclusiveness of a conceptual design. Consequently, this paper introduces a metric to evaluate the inclusiveness of an idea; inter-rater reliability is also established for the metric. The ideas generated in the control and experimental conditions are compared based on quality and inclusivity. The results indicate that the inclusive design representation scheme helps the designer perform inclusive product design to a limited extent. This representation scheme is a promising method and needs detailed exploration of its individual elements. Moreover, the inclusivity metric serves as a foundational block for benchmarking various methods for inclusive design. Copyright © 2013 by ASME.
author list (cited authors)
Sangelkar, S., & McAdams, D. A.