The Landscaped Tableware Range: A Case Study in User-Product Interaction Design

By Lisa-Dionne Morris and Alison McKay.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Products designed for practicality are changing from bland and uninspiring pieces of equipment to designs that fuse practicality with elegance. To appeal to as wide an audience as possible, innovation in the design of user-centred products should take into account the lifestyle, needs and aspirations of intended users. For example, the Landscaped tableware range has been designed for use by stroke patients both during their rehabilitation in hospital and at home. The desire for functionality and design-led innovation underpins the thinking behind the range. The designs have gained attention for their twist on the traditional use of the term ‘inclusive’ as they blur the boundaries between practicality, function and sculptured form while, at the same time, avoiding dictating how consumers interact with them. In this paper, we use the design (both as a process and an artefact) of the Landscaped tableware range as a case study to report insights gained into interactions between users and products, and on how such insights might inform the design of user-product interactions. The range was deliberately designed to assist those who have suffered perceptual and cognitive impairments following a stroke in eating independently. The design process explored the extent to which designers might encourage new relationships and interactions between users and products. Learning how intended users interacted with everyday products acted as a point of reference from which new product forms were designed. The resulting designs assist individuals in navigating around a table setting, so enabling them to eat independently.

Keywords: Designing Interactions, User-product Interactions, People with Disabilities, Tableware Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.265-278. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.530MB).

Lisa-Dionne Morris

Teaching Fellow, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

Lisa-Dionne Morris is a Teaching Fellow for the MDes in Product Design at the University of Leeds. She has a design career spanning 10 years, with experience in both the automotive and product design sector. She graduated from the Royal College of Art with a MA in Industrial Design and worked as an Industrial Designer for the IBM Corporation in the United Kingdom. She has numerous designs which have been both nationally and internationally recognised, and has dedicated much of her work to developing operational interfaces. She is currently studying for her PhD in Operational Interface Design at the University of Leeds. This work continues her interest in Operational Interfaces.

Prof. Alison McKay

Professorial, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

Alison McKay is professor of design systems in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds. Her research interests lie in the areas of enterprise engineering and design informatics. Recent work has involved the application of product data engineering principles to the representation and evaluation of process and extended enterprise structures. Her research is positioned within the context of stage gate processes that typify current industry practice. It aims to facilitate improved modes of working through the exploitation of digital technology and to establish design methods and tools to support systematic evaluation of design alternatives at decision gates.

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