EVALUATING THREE TOOLS FOR USER-CENTERED MATERIALS SELECTION

ILSE VAN KESTEREN, SJEF DE BRUIJN, PIETER JAN STAPPERS

Abstract


Three tools were recently developed for assisting product designers and clients in discussing userinteraction aspects of materials for new products. After using the tools, product designers are expected to start a more effective materials search than without using the tools. The first tool defines the user-interaction via pictures of product examples and the materials these products are made of (pictures tool). The second tool focuses on the sensorial aspects of materials via tangible materials (samples tool) and the third tool focuses on the sensorial aspects of materials during several phases of the user-product interaction (questions tool). In this article we study the usability and the achievements of these tools. The main question answered is whether or not the tools lead to consensus between product designer and client about the desired user-interaction aspects of materials. Furthermore, we evaluated how easy the tools were to use and whether creativity is stimulated or restricted by the tools. The tools were used by product designers and clients in two fictive design brief meetings to answer the questions.


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