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The role of prototyping in developing assistive devices

Jan Detand (UGent) , Lieven De Couvreur (UGent) and Bart Grimonprez (UGent)
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Abstract
Products in the healthcare context must put human relationships and social interactions central. Today, two main approaches are common when adopting assistive products for impaired users. Standard assistive devices offer either functionality that is not well-matched to the patient’s impairment. Or - in case a occupational therapist has physically hacked the product accordingly - it works stigmatizing for the patient, due to its unattractive design. “Design for [every]one” is a multidisciplinary design process appropriate for developing customized assistive devices. Prototyping is consecutively applied as design method and communication language for an incremen-tal personalization process involving design team members, patients and occupational therapists. By imple-menting active engagement with user experience prototypes and observational techniques, it is possible to re-duce stigmatization and augment the product affinity between patient and the assistive tool. The starting point of this personalized system are questions about what an individual needs in the broadest sense. Through an extended dialogue with prototypes, a person’s aspirations and needs can be made tangible to all the stakeholders in the design process. During this “design, implement- and evaluate” process, a wide range of prototyping techniques have to be adhered, due to the high functional demands and the different user-driven aspects of the actual product. A consensus has to be made where rapid prototyping techniques go hand in hand with manual prototyping tech-niques and the use of standard components in order to come up with a fully functional and esthetical prod-ucts. The development process is documented by allocating versions to the sequential prototypes and describing particularly the performed user tests. The developed method is verified and illustrated by real case-studies.

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Chicago
Detand, Jan, Lieven De Couvreur, and Bart Grimonprez. 2010. “The Role of Prototyping in Developing Assistive Devices.” In PMI Conference, 4th International, Proceedings. Ghent, Belgium: University College Ghent.
APA
Detand, J., De Couvreur, L., & Grimonprez, B. (2010). The role of prototyping in developing assistive devices. PMI conference, 4th International, Proceedings. Presented at the 4th International PMI conference (PMI 2010), Ghent, Belgium: University College Ghent.
Vancouver
1.
Detand J, De Couvreur L, Grimonprez B. The role of prototyping in developing assistive devices. PMI conference, 4th International, Proceedings. Ghent, Belgium: University College Ghent; 2010.
MLA
Detand, Jan, Lieven De Couvreur, and Bart Grimonprez. “The Role of Prototyping in Developing Assistive Devices.” PMI Conference, 4th International, Proceedings. Ghent, Belgium: University College Ghent, 2010. Print.
@inproceedings{1186181,
  abstract     = {Products in the healthcare context must put human relationships and social interactions central. Today, two main approaches are common when adopting assistive products for impaired users. Standard assistive devices offer either functionality that is not well-matched to the patient’s impairment. Or - in case a occupational therapist has physically hacked the product accordingly - it works stigmatizing for the patient, due to its unattractive design.
“Design for [every]one” is a multidisciplinary design process appropriate for developing customized assistive devices. Prototyping is consecutively applied as design method and communication language for an incremen-tal personalization process involving design team members, patients and occupational therapists. By imple-menting active engagement with user experience prototypes and observational techniques, it is possible to re-duce stigmatization and augment the product affinity between patient and the assistive tool.
The starting point of this personalized system are questions about what an individual needs in the broadest sense. Through an extended dialogue with prototypes, a person’s aspirations and needs can be made tangible to all the stakeholders in the design process.  During this “design, implement- and evaluate”  process, a wide range of prototyping techniques have to be adhered, due to the high functional demands  and the different user-driven aspects of the actual product. A consensus has to be made where rapid prototyping techniques go hand in hand with manual prototyping tech-niques and the use of standard components in order to come up with a fully functional and esthetical prod-ucts. The development process is documented by allocating versions to the sequential prototypes and describing particularly the performed user tests. The developed method is verified and illustrated by real case-studies.},
  author       = {Detand, Jan and De Couvreur, Lieven and Grimonprez, Bart},
  booktitle    = {PMI conference, 4th International, Proceedings},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Ghent, Belgium},
  pages        = {8},
  publisher    = {University College Ghent},
  title        = {The role of prototyping in developing assistive devices},
  year         = {2010},
}