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