a human- centered approach to technology development: designing cleaning products for elders susan...

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  • A Human- Centered Approach to Technology Development: Designing Cleaning Products for Elders Susan Wyche Ph.D. Student Human-Centered Computing January 13, 2004
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  • Overview About me Why housework and ageing? What is a Human-Centered Approach? Methodology and Tools Results
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  • Interdisciplinary Contextualize technology in human needs rather than other technology Intersection of technology development and social analysis What is a Human-Centered Approach?
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  • Why Housework and Ageing? Aging population wants to age in place I-methodology Housework missing from current Smart House/ Digital Home discourse History of Housework
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  • Design ethnography is an emerging discipline that draws on many theories, practices, and methodologies of anthropology, as well as other social-science disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, sociology, and communications. It is based upon understanding what people do, what they say, and what they think. We do not ask consumers what they want; instead, we strive to understand how they live (Salvador, Bell, & Anderson 1999). Design Ethnography
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  • Objective Use qualitative research to look deeper into how elders (65+ year olds) clean their homes in order to develop concepts for cleaning products that are responsive to their needs. The following questions guided my research: Appropriateness of applying F.W. Taylors principles of scientific management to domestic environments Has technology really made housework easier? (Vanek, 1978) How can products be designed to better fit elders needs and abilities? Research tools that capture peoples experiences and allow them to participate in the design process. Using peoples experiences as a source of inspiration. How can older adults lifetime of knowledge and experience help us to design technologies for the future?
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  • Invaluable Tools
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  • Guerilla Research Rapidly immersing myself into anything and everything related to cleaning and ageing. Try it yourself trying the product better appreciate the experience actual users might have Self awareness Spend as much time as you can with people relevant to the design topic. Envision scenarios different from what we know.
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  • Historical Awareness Historical awareness enables us to consciously choose which themes bear repeating and, which we want to resist in our design. (Sengers, 2003) Housework as womens work The labor saving debate Loss of sensual joys that accompanied aspects of housework
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  • Deliberately looked for people that were different from myself 18 Adults (3 men, 15 women) Age Range 65-89 Recruited through friends, family, professors, Carnegie Mellon Alumni Directory, Ithaca Department of Aging... Screened for age and accessibility Sample
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  • Human-Centered Research Tools Using official looking questionnaires or formal meetings seemed likely to cast us in the role of doctors, diagnosing user problems and prescribing technological cures... Trying to establish roles as provocateurs, we shaped the probes as interventions that would affect the elders while eliciting informative responses from them. (Gaver, Dunne, & Pacenti 1999) User studies that engage participants and that they enjoy doing. Sensitivity to changes that occur with aging (i.e. decline in mental and visual acuity)
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  • In-home Interviews, Observations, and Tours
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  • Box of Products Participants were asked to interact with various cleaning products I purchased. I wanted to see how they reacted to new cleaning products and new dispensing mechanisms (i.e. wipes, Swiffer mops, Method bottle ) and understand their relationship with packaging. 15 participants could not figure out how to make soap dispense from the Method bottle! Most participants were not familiar with wipes. All participants were frustrated with packaging!
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  • In-Store Shadowing One in-store shadowing was done in order to gain insight into how growing older affects the shopping experience. Shopping in Super Wal-Mart was challenging for my 90 year old grandfather. He like many of the people I talked with missed smaller stores with less product choices. You go to buy these products today your Windex, anything, theyve got this added, theyve got that added, they have perfume added, which one do I want?
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  • Memory Scrapbook
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  • Cleaning Roundtable
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  • Cleaning Stations Mini Grocery Store Aisle Computer Linoleum Floor Dusting
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  • Cultural Probes
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  • Insight Cards Organize enormous amount of data Capture instances of elders behavior Inspiration Resource for others Writing everyday (good habit for graduate student)
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  • Results Findings and Themes Speculative Designs
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  • Housing Design
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  • Physical Changes
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  • Product Modifications
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  • Packaging
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  • Changes over time
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  • Speculative Design Speculative designs are plausible products which suggest new applications for technology and are often critical of existing ones. They are driven by peoples experiences and sometimes purposeful avoid utility. The designs attempt to provoke a search for meaning, using evocation rather than explicit communication (Dunne & Gaver, 1997).
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  • Book Bottles
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  • Untouchables
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  • Hands and Knees
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  • Calorie Counting Trigger
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  • Bottle Monocle
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  • Packaging
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  • Conclusion
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  • ECL for thoughtful feedback yesterday! Phoebe Sengers, Ph.D., Info. Science/ Science and Tech. Studies Johanna Schoss, Ph.D., Anthropology/ Design and Environ. Analysis Thank You!


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