Mieke is a Senior Lecturer within the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation. Her research and teaching practice is driven by the belief that we need to better understand the circumstances and creative practices that are required to address the complex issues the world is currently facing. No longer is it enough to rely on analytical methods and data to decide which interventions we need to develop. We need to bring people from different disciplinary backgrounds together, build on their expertise, and create successful initiatives through practices that transcend each of their individual disciplines.
One way to address this is through developing the creative capacity of the current generation of students. Mieke is therefore very excited to be part of the core teaching team of UTS’ Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation.. In this role she is responsible for the coordination of the third and fourth year of the curriculum, and teaches into various subjects covering topics such as social complexity, problem framing, human-centred innovation, and innovation leadership.
Her research interests are in the creative practices that are required to address complex societal problems, in particular the human-centeredness and transdisciplinarity of these methods and practices. One of her current research projects is a study of international innovation agencies and labs that work inside or alongside public and social sector organisations to address complex societal issues. Mieke is also actively involved in various transdisciplinary projects in the public and social sector, in particular projects related to mental health and wellbeing. Mieke has published widely in the fields of human-centred design, public sector innovation, and systemic design. She frequently speaks at events about human-centred innovation, social design and transdisciplinarity. Mieke holds a Master of Science in Industry Design Engineering, and a PhD in human-centred design methods and practices. More information about her research can be found on her website.
Can supervise: YES
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2017, 'Designing for Social Infrastructures in Complex Service Systems: A Human-Centered and Social Systems Perspective on Service Design', She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics and Innovation, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 183-197.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. Many organisations realise that becoming more human-centred is key to dealing with today's innovation challenges. Human-centred design (HCD) has potential to contribute to this goal. However, its current impact on strategic innovation is limited. In this paper we describe the evolution of HCD methods to date, and the challenges and opportunities of applying HCD in strategic innovation. We show that these challenges could be addressed by augmenting HCD with methods from the field of design innovation. To do this, we propose the NADI-model that links these two worlds by considering the different layers of practices and knowledge they contain, and show how the deepest level of this model can bridge human-centred design and strategic innovation.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & van der Voort, M. 2014, 'Establishing shared understanding of product use through collaboratively generating an explicit frame of reference', CoDesign, vol. 10, pp. 171-190.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Recent studies have shown that there is a need to improve usability-related decision-making in product development teams to prevent usability problems in the final product. Those decisions are heavily influenced by the knowledge those teams have of future use situations and expected usability issues. Our previous research showed that design team members often implicitly hold this type of knowledge, but do not share it within the team. This lack of a shared understanding of product use negatively influences the decision-making process. In this paper we present the iterative development of a set of guidelines to support design teams in sharing knowledge of product use through the generation of flexible, explicit and evolving frames of reference. A series of studies in which the guidelines were evaluated suggest that particularly the activity of collaboratively creating the explicit frame of reference contributes to a shared understanding of product use.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & van der Voort, M.C. 2014, 'Understanding Design for Dynamic and Diverse Use Situations', International Journal of Design, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 29-42.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & van der Voort, M.C. 2009, 'Participatory Scenario Generation: Communicating Usability Issues in Product Design through User Involvement in Scenario Generation', Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 269-288.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Scenarios have proven to be a valuable tool in evaluating and communicating usability issues in consumer product design. Scenarios are explicit descriptions of hypothetical use situations. Realistic scenarios can serve as a valuable frame of reference to evaluate design solutions with regard to usability. To be able to achieve this required level of realism, involving users in scenario generation is essential. In this presentation we discuss how and where users can be involved in a scenario based product design process by means of examples of design projects that were executed by master students Industrial Design Engineering of the University of Twente. We distinguish direct and indirect scenario generation. In direct scenario generation the user is actively involved in a participatory scenario generation session: the scenarios are created together with users. Indirect scenario generation is an approach in which scenarios are created by designers based on common analysis techniques like observations and interviews. These scenarios are then offered to users for confirmation. Both types of user involvement in scenario generation can be aimed at either current use scenarios which describe the current situation or future use scenarios which include a new product design. The examples show that all strategies can be applied successfully to create realistic scenarios. Which strategy to choose depends among others upon risks and privacy issues, occurrence of infrequent events and availability of users. Furthermore, the variety of approaches shows that there is still a lot to explore with regard to benefits and limitations of the many techniques that can be applied in generating scenarios for consumer product design. We hope to contribute to this field by means of the research in our group and the work of students in the SBPD course.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & van der Voort, M.C. 2008, 'Designing for Dynamic Usability: Development of a Design Method that Supports Designing Products for Dynamic Use Situations', Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 149-157.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ease of use or usability is gaining ground as a selling argument. However, designing usable consumer products still remains a complicated activity, particularly when products will be used in changing circumstances. The usability of a product is defined by ISO 9241 as the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use. From this definition can be concluded that a product's usability depends on the situation in which it is used and that this situation should be specified. However, more and more products are used by varying users, for varying purposes and/ or in varying contexts of use, for instance a vending machine or a mobile phone. These types of products therefore have a varying or dynamic usability. This variation can take place on different levels: within a use session, between use sessions or between products. The means by which a product can be adjusted to this variation or `dynamic use situation depends on the variation level. Products with dynamic use situations are difficult to design with regard to usability because it is difficult - if not impossible - to predict all situations a product will meet. Moreover, requirements from different use situations can conflict. In this paper we will elaborate on the principle of dynamic use situations by means of an example. Furthermore we will discuss the need for the development of a design method that supports designers in dealing with dynamic use situations. For that purpose we propose criteria the method should meet. Besides aiming at creating solutions these criteria include the analysis and prioritizing of use situation aspects as well as an evaluation in which these aspects are integrated. We believe scenarios can be a valuable tool in this process.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & van der Voort, M.C. 2013, 'Exploring future use: scenario based design' in de Bont, C., den Ouden, E., Schifferstein, R., Smulders, F. & van der Voort, M. (eds), Advanced design methods for successful innovation - recent methods from design research and design c, Design United, Delft, pp. 57-77.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The future use of products and services will be determined by both their design and the different ways in which they are used. It is difficult to understand and to explore this future use as it is hard to imagine and predict something that is not tangible and has not yet appeared on the market. Scenario based design, as we present it here, supports user-centred design processes that are aimed at developing products and services. Although this methodology has matured in the field of human computer interaction and software design (e.g. Rosson and Carroll 2002), the application of scenarios in product and service deign is still at an early developmental stage. Scenario-based design is a methodology that supports designers and design teams in their creative and reflective activities by providing an explicit means to explore future use. This exploration is achieved by providing flexible and vivid representations of product use - the scenarios - that support how the desired future use can be imagined, and stimulate reflection on product and service ideas with regard to how they are used in different situations. Apart from its advantages, in regard to exploring future use, scenario-based design also supports the communication that takes place with the various stakeholders regarding the evaluation of product use. Since scenarios can serve as a common language that everyone can understand, irrespective of their backgrounds, they create a common ground so that s discussion can take place among the various stakeholders concerning the current and future use. Scenario-based design is a general term that applies to many different techniques aimed at the generation and application of scenarios. This chapter does not intend to give a complete overview and description of these technique, but instead it presents a general framework in which these techniques can be placed. Where applicable, the chapter indicates how it is related to other methods described in this book.
Boess, S., van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & Harkema, C. 2012, 'Envisioning Use: a workshop technique to share use-related knowledge in product development teams' in van Kuijk, J. (ed), Design for Usability: Methods & Tools: A practitioner's guide, Design for Usability, Netherlands, pp. 72-83.
To be able to design products with a high level of usability, product development teams need to understand usability and users. For example, they need to know about the users' abilities, and about future circumstances of use. However, our study of current product development processes has shown us that designers often have little direct contact with the actual use situation and end-users. When taking decisions, designers rely on their own implicit knowledge about product use and usability gained through personal experience, but they hardly ever share this process and knowledge with their teams. To stimulate the concept of usability in product development, we developed the `Envisioning Use' workshop. It helps teams to establish shared goals for usability, as well as a sense of ownership for the usability of the future product. In this workshop, members of a product development team share their knowledge of and experience with the envisaged use situation in a number of informal ways. By the end of the workshop, the implicit knowledge - in team member s- heads - is made explicit in a shared frame of reference: the product use mind map. This can then be used to decide which items require action during the rest of the development process: which knowledge about users and use is uncertain or missing. Over the course of its development, the workshop has been applied numerous times in companies, with products ranging from business software to household appliances. To enable product developers to set up their own workshops, we have developed a workshop instruction booklet.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2012, 'Guidelines to design for dynamic and diverse use situations: exploring the who, where and why of product use' in van Kuijk, J. (ed), Design for Usability: Methods & Tools: A practitioner's guide, Design for Usability, Netherlands, pp. 98-109.
The aim of this study is to support product development teams in dealing with the variety of situations in which products are used, so-called dynamic and diverse use situations. Dealing with varying use situations in the design process is difficult because it is hard to predict the situations in which a product will be used, to anticipate what will happen when the product encounters those situations and to generate solutions for conflicting requirements. Our retrospective study of three design projects in practice showed that knowledge of dynamic and diverse use situations often remains implicit and is not shared between members of a product development team. This can have a negative effect on the validity of usability evaluations and can give rise to difficulties in decision-making with regard to product usability. We therefore developed a set of guidelines to support teams when dealing with dynamic use in the design process. The guidelines were developed iteratively and evaluated in seven student projects. They enable teams to create an explicit frame of reference of use situations which can be applied to contextualize usability evaluations; a `dynamic use mindset which inspires solution generation; and a shared vision on product use which supports decision making.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2017, 'The power of trust and motivation in a designing social system', Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD6) 2017 symposium, Relating Systems Thinking and Design 2017 symposium, Systemic Design Research Network, Oslo, Norway.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & Malcolm, B. 2018, 'Design expertise in public and social innovation', Proceedings of DRS 2018 International Conference, DRS 2018 - Design as a catalyst for change, Design Research Society, Limerick, Ireland, pp. 448-460.
Over the past decade a new type of design practice has emerged that is aimed at addressing complex societal problems through public and social sector innovation. As opposed to traditional product design teams, design processes in this sector tend to be distributed among numerous actors. In these 'designing networks' it is less clear which type and level of design expertise is required and who should have it. In this paper, we investigate design expertise in public and social innovation through a study of the practices of five innovation agencies. We particularly looked at the expertise of framing. The study provides preliminary answers to how much and what kind of design expertise we need, who should have it, and how we can teach and learn this expertise. The results indicate that designing for complex societal problems requires high level design expertise with regard to framing and managing a design process. This requires capability building beyond the methodical approaches that are currently being offered to public and social sector staff members.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2017, 'The what, how and who of social service design', Conference Proceedings of the Design Management Academy, Design Management Academy 2017, Design Management Academy, Hong Kong, pp. 753-766.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Services are an important type of intervention used to address complex
societal problems such as chronic health problems and climate change.
Social services are defined as services that have a social purpose, and are based on high-quality social interactions between service deliverer and service consumer. This paper shows through three case studies what we are designing, how we design, and who designs when designing social services.
The case studies show that while some are focused on the interface
between service deliverer and consumer, an important type of intervention is a 'social infrastructure', which is a structured way of bringing service deliverers together to incrementally redesign their own service. Practices that support the design of social services include: developing a deep understanding of the needs of both service consumers and service deliverers, using design expertise to frame complex problems, and playing
an active role in prototyping and implementing the intervention.
Tromp, N. & van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2016, 'Introduction: Design Innovation for Society', Proceedings of DRS2016: Future-Focused Thinking, DRS2016 International Conference: Future-Focused Thinking, the Design Research Society, Brighton, UK, pp. 2143-2148.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2016, 'Designing social infrastructures for complex service systems', Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD5) 2016 Symposium, Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium, Systemic Design Research Network, Toronto, Canada, pp. 1-1.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2016, 'The Challenges of Human-Centred Design in a Public Sector Innovation Context', Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference, Design Research Society International Conference, Design Research Society, Brighton, UK, pp. 2149-2164.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The world is increasingly faced with complex societal problems such as climate change, an ageing population, radicalising youth and chronic health problems. Public sector organisations have a key role in addressing these issues. It is widely acknowledged that tackling these problems requires new approaches and methods. Design, and in particular human-centred design, offers opportunities to develop these methods. In this paper I argue that a new type of human-centred innovation practice is necessary to adjust traditional user-centred design methods and tools to the public sector innovation context. This context involves different types of stakeholders with conflicting needs and aspirations, and requires a precise articulation of the value of human-centred design. I will propose a possible answer to these challenges through a case study relating to severe mental illness, in which we applied Dorst's frame creation methodology, in combination with the NADI-model of
Needs and Aspirations for Design and Innovation.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & Malcolm, B. 2016, 'Developing a Systemic Design Practice to Support ARegulatory Agency in Addressing Complex Problems', Systemic Design Symposia, Systemic Design Research Network, Toronto, Canada, pp. 1-13.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Dijkstra, M., van der Bijl-Brouwer, M., Ludden, G. & van der Bijl, W.M. 2015, 'Innovation in the Medical Design Industry through the Use of Thematic Framing', Proceedings of IASDR 2015 Interplay, International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 556-575.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The healthcare industry struggles with the creation of radical innovations due to many
different stakeholders with competing interests. This research project aimed at the
development of a methodology that supports medical designers to create innovations by
using deep human insights. As a starting point, we used a four-layer model of insights into
human needs and aspirations, ranging from solutions ('what') and scenarios ('how'), to goals
and themes ('why'). To transform this model into a design methodology, we iteratively
developed and evaluated the methodology together with medical designers in a real world
design setting. As a result, we distinguished five stages of a so called 'Thematic Framing'
process: (1) current frame, (2) needs and aspirations, (3) themes, (4.a) new frames, (4.b)
ideas for solutions, and (5) opportunities. The added value of the methodology is that the
'why' level is divided in why's on the goal level – within the design context – and why's at
the theme level that will be analysed outside the design context. Moving outside the design
context allows for mapping the pattern of the theme to solutions in other contexts; this can
create metaphors that can subsequently form a bridge to new frames and solutions.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & Watson, N. 2015, 'Designing for the deepest needs of both public service consumers and providers: Innovation in mental health crisis response', The 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED15), International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, The Design Society, Milan, Italy, pp. 443-452.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Design is increasingly used as an approach to support innovation outside the traditional design domain, including the public sector. One of the design principles that is used in these so-called design innovation processes is gathering 'deep' insights into users or customers needs to support reframing of problems. In an earlier publication we proposed a model of levels of depth of insights into human needs. This model indicates that the deepest level to analyse human needs for design innovation is the thematic level which describes human values and meanings outside the context of the problem. Analysing those themes supports reframing of problems. In this paper we argue that innovation in the public sector can benefit from analysing these deepest needs beyond the needs of just the public service consumer, to include the needs of public service providers. Meeting the needs of service providers might positively influence the quality of the service itself. We illustrate this through a case study which was aimed at developing solutions for the systemic problem of supporting people with severe and persistent mental health problems.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M., Kaldor, L., Watson, N.R. & Hillen, V. 2015, 'Supporting the Emerging Practice of Public Sector Design Innovation', Proceedings of IASDR2015 Interplay, International Association of Societies of Design Research, QUT, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 2156-2172.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Pee, S.H., Dorst, C. & van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2015, 'Understanding Problem Framing through research into Metaphors', IASDR 2015: Interplay Proceedings, International Association of Societies of Design Research, IADSR, Brisbane, pp. 1656-1671.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In problem framing, designers produce frames, or a new perspective on a situation, that help
to create a novel standpoint from which a problem situation may be tackled. Recently, there
is an increase in the popularity of design as a problem solving and innovation approach
outside of the traditional design field. This leads to new demands for explicit frame creation
instructions and tools. However, most researchers studied the use of frames and processes
around problem frames but not where frames come from. So, there is a need for a better
understanding of problem framing. In this paper we propose the study of metaphor as a way
to improve our understanding of problem framing. This approach opens up the rich
knowledge base of metaphor research to help illuminate the 'mysterious' problem framing
process. Base on this initial study of selected metaphor theories; we have developed a
typology of metaphors that illuminates how metaphorical problem frames are created.
Thurgood, C., Dorst, C., Bucolo, S., van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & Vermaas, P. 2015, 'Design innovation for societal and business change.', Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 15), International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, The Design Society, Milan, Italy, pp. 61-70.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
We present two approaches for addressing complex societal and business problems: frame creation and design led innovation. Both methods combine a broad systems approach to problem solving together with the reframing of problems based on uncovering deep underlying human values and needs. While the practical usefulness and viability of our methods has been established through a series of projects, design methods need evaluative criteria to enable a more formal discussion and assessment of projects. This is particularly important for enabling comparisons across studies, and/or when attempting to communicate the value of design to non-design audience. For this purpose, we suggest articulating the steps of design methods using S.M.A.R.T. criteria from the management literature. We describe the aims, means, and evaluative criteria of each step of our methods, which can be likened to the specific (S) and measurable (M) indices of S.M.A.R.T. Thus, S.M.AR.T. descriptions enable management of projects by means of their own design methods and contribute to establishing sound design innovation methodologies that can eventually be scaled up for large research programs and educational purposes.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & Bucolo, S. 2014, 'The learning needs of small and medium-sized enterprises for design led innovation', Proceedings of DRS2014: Design's big debates, Pushing the boundaries of design research, Design Research Society International Conference, Design Research Society, Umeå, Sweden, pp. 1288-1300.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Many scholars in the design research field are involved in (post)-graduate design education on the one hand, and some type of corporate education on the other. While there is a growing body of knowledge on educating design students, there is a gap in this research field with regard to the education of non-design professionals. This type of education has become more important now it is increasingly recognized that design can support innovation in businesses, so-called design led innovation. In this paper we focus on educating Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). We propose a learner-centred approach to the development of education, which means that insights in the learners' needs are used to develop programs on design-led innovation. To illustrate this approach we present how the learning needs of SMEs were investigated through the qualitative evaluation of a 'Building Design Competency' program. From this study can be concluded that SMEs have specific emotional, social and cognitive characteristics that influence their learning needs. These needs include trustworthy course providers and instructors, a learning community of non-competing peers, customized stimulation of a deep learning approach, and adjustment of teaching material to their initial level of customer and business insights.
Van Der Bijl Brouwer, M. & Dorst, K. 2014, 'How deep is deep? A four-layer model of insights into human needs for design innovation', Proceedings of the Colors of Care: 9th International Conference on Design & Emotion, Design and Emotion, Ediciones Uniandes, Bogota, Colombia, pp. 280-287.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
It is generally acknowledged that knowledge about the people that are affected by a design proposal, supports successful design and innovation processes. In this paper we explore the question: what needs to be known about involved people to be able to innovate through design? Based on a literature analysis of human-centred design we propose a model with four levels of human insights: 1) the desired solutions; 2) the desired scenarios; 3) which goal drives this need; and 4) which human value or theme underlies these goals. We argue that radical innovation-which involves a reframe of the problem-can be supported by an investigation of the deepest level of this human insights framework: the thematic level. We show how themes are explored through a hermeneutic phenomenological exercise. This approach is illustrated with a design case in the context of social housing.
Boess, S. & van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2013, 'Designer-centred design research', Consilience and Innovation in Design, 5th International Congress of IASDR13 Proceedings, International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 5660-5668.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper demonstrates how a reworked conceptualization of method takes into account the designers goals as well as the nature of their activity. In that, the paper seeks to make a conceptual step in how we as design researchers approach and influence what designers do in their practice. This paper presents careful observation of and intervention into design activities as an essential link between design research and practice. In this, it reconceptualises what is now known as method as part of the design activity. Because of the expectations that have become attached to the term method, we choose to develop and provide techniques to designers instead of methods. By not only focusing on the process of the technique, but also the way that designers can take it up in terms of its fit with their knowledge, flexibility, experience and learnability, as well as the way designers can use to support their goals and communication, we make a new kind of contribution as design researchers to design practice. The `designer-centred development of techniques creates a new and essential link between design research and design practice.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & van der Voort, M.C. 2013, 'Thinking and Exploring Use Situations', Consilience and Innovation in Design, Proceedings and Program vol. 2, International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 745-756.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Within design teams, knowledge of the variety of situations in which products are used remains often unshared. Furthermore these 'dynamic and diverse use situations' are not always applied consistently to contextualize use evaluations. This paper describes the development of guidelines to deal with these issues in the design process. The initial guidleines were aimed at generating and applying an evolving explicit frame of reference of product use that could be used to set up use evaluations, to share knowledge of product use and to inspire solution generation. an application of the guidelines to a carrier bike by four student teams showed the added value of using the frame of reference in setting up use evaluations, the value of explorative activities to create explicit frame of reference, and unexpected benefits of the additionally created mindset.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M., van der Molen, P. & van der Voort, M.C. 2013, 'Designing on the road; exploring the who, where and why of individual mobility devices', DS 75-09: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design, DEsign for Harmonies, Vol.9:Design Methods and Tools, International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, The Design Society, Seoul, Korea, pp. 79-88.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The aim of this study is to support designers in dealing with the variety of situations in which products are used, so called dynamic and diverse use situations (DDUS). dealing with varying use situations in the dsign process is difficult because it is hard to predict the situations in which a product will be used, o anticipate what will happen when the product encounters those situations and to generate solutions for conflicting requirements. A retrospective case study of three design projects in practice furthermore showed that knowledge of DDUS often remains implicit and is not shared between members of a product development team. We therefore developed a set of guidelines to support designers and design teams when dealing with DDUS in the design process. The basic principle of the guidelines is that existing design activities are used to create and apply an explicit 'frame of reference of product use' which makes DDUS and their relation to use issues explicit. In this paper we explain these guidelines and show its application to the design of an individual mobility device.
Eggink, W. & van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2012, 'Grading Efficiency in Design', Proceedings of the 14th International Conference On Engineering And Product Design Education: Design Education for Future Wellbeing, International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Institution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society, Antwerp, Belgium, pp. 275-280.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The academic world is constantly under pressure to deliver maximum output for a minimum of (public) costs. For Design education this is important, because doing Design cannot be learned from a book. As teaching costs are mainly driven by the costs of supervisors, the amount of time invested in organizing a meaningful teaching experience determines the efficiency. Grading design is complex, because design assignments are open ended, and design tasks have no `right solution that can be easily validated. An efficient grading method therefore has to provide insight in both design result and design process in a short period of supervising time. In 2009 we set up the multidisciplinary course human-product relations as a part of the second year of the bachelor. The design work in this course is graded in an interactive session where the students present their results in a combined poster/sketch/model-presentation of approximately five minutes, following five minutes of question and answer. We call this the Design Fair. In 2010 we also introduced a design course on aesthetics and meaning. In this course the students have to hand in their results in the form of a visual essay of maximum 50 slides. Both ways of grading suit particularly well with the intended learning experience, and experience showed that they provide insight in the students results in an efficient way. A short quantitative evaluation of the visual essay method also showed that the objectivity of the grading method was sufficient.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2011, 'Exploring design for dynamic use', DS 69: Proceedings of E&PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, The Design Society, London, United Kingdom, pp. 1-6.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Products that are used by varying users, for varying purposes in varying contexts (dynamic and diverse use situations) are difficult to design because it is hard to predict the situations in which the product will be used and consequently what this requires from the design. In our research we develop guidelines and the Envisioning Use workshop to support designers in dealing with dynamic use. The basic idea of both support tools is that an overview of possible users, goals and contexts serves as an evolving frame of reference for use evaluations in the design process. In the course `Design for Dynamic Use of the master Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) of the University of Twente students applied the developed workshop and guidelines to the design of a carrier bike for a real client. This paper describes the application and evaluation of the workshop technique by students. From this can be concluded that the workshop results in a structured view on the broadness of use situations and use issues. Therefore it is a valuable tool in setting the basis for a frame of reference of product use. For research purposes, a company was involved in the project to provide a real case. While this led to useful research results, students benefited from the collaboration as well by being able to do an exercise in a realistic design context and learning how to deal with client demands. Moreover, the company benefited from the involvement in education by gaining new ideas and insights.
Van Der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2011, 'Exploring design for dynamic use', DS 69: Proceedings of E and PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, The Design Society, London, UK, pp. 535-540.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Products that are used by varying users, for varying purposes in varying contexts (dynamic and diverse use situations) are difficult to design because it is hard to predict the situations in which the product will be used and consequently what this requires from the design. In our research we develop guidelines and the Envisioning Use workshop to support designers in dealing with dynamic use. The basic idea of both support tools is that an overview of possible users, goals and contexts serves as an evolving frame of reference for use evaluations in the design process. In the course 'Design for Dynamic Use' of the master Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) of the University of Twente students applied the developed workshop and guidelines to the design of a carrier bike for a real client. This paper describes the application and evaluation of the workshop technique by students. From this can be concluded that the workshop results in a structured view on the broadness of use situations and use issues. Therefore it is a valuable tool in setting the basis for a frame of reference of product use. For research purposes, a company was involved in the project to provide a real case. While this led to useful research results, students benefited from the collaboration as well by being able to do an exercise in a realistic design context and learning how to deal with client demands. Moreover, the company benefited from the involvement in education by gaining new ideas and insights.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M., Boess, S. & Harkema, C. 2011, 'What do we know about product use? A technique to share use-related knowledge in design teams', Proceedings of IASDR2011, 4th World Conference on Design Research, International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR - The International Association of Societies of Design Research, Delft, Netherlands, pp. 1-12.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
We propose the Envisioning Use workshop technique that enables members of a product development team to share and become aware of knowledge they have and do not have about product use. The technique was developed in an iterative process in which the workshop was executed and evaluated with practicing designers. The technique combines steps in which knowledge is accessed in different ways such as remembering, imagining, experiencing and envisioning product use. The evaluations showed that with this approach a broad spectrum of product use knowledge can be collected in a half-day workshop. The interactive character of the workshop supports sharing knowledge on product use. The workshop should be executed at or before the start of a design project, possibly involving the client. It is applicable to both projects aimed at redesigning an existing product and projects that have a more explorative character.
Eggink, W. & van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. 2010, 'A multidisciplinary framework for (teaching) Human Product Relations', DS 62: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, (E&PDE2010) International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - When Design Education and Design Research meet ..., The Design Society, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway, pp. 266-271.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In this paper we introduce a framework for dealing with the complexity of human-product relationships. The actual framework is a matrix of design perspectives, with three cooperating disciplines on the one hand and three levels of abstraction on the other hand. Basis of the framework is the notion that a product cannot be seen as stand alone, yet always is influenced by the user(s). Thus, according to philosopher Don Ihde, user and product together define the actual product (use). The framework was developed for an integrated course on human product relations with input from the research groups on Usability, Design Aesthetics, and Philosophy of Technology. The interaction (or relation) between the product and the user can be analyzed and influenced with the use of theory from these three disciplines. Therefore we discern A human as a User, A human as an Aesthetic, and A human as a Consumer. From the philosophy of technology perspective (the human as a consumer) for instance, the theory of mediation and the ethics of influence of behaviour are used to analyze existing human product relations and create meaningful new ones. The three levels of abstraction within the framework concern interaction on an individual, a social and a societal level. Finally we discuss the implementation of this framework within education practice.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & Boess, S. 2010, 'From remembering to envisioning product use: an informal design technique', Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Design & Emotion, 7th design & emotion conference, blatantly blues, IIT Institute of Design, Spertus Institute, Chicago, Illinois, USA, pp. 1-12.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
To be able to get insight in potential use experiences of design proposals, designers would ideally have continuous access to a diverse group of end-users who could give feedback. Since in practice this is not possible designers often have to rely on other sources to be able to reflect on the use issues of their design proposals. Previous research has shown that designers often apply informal techniques to reflect on use issues, in which personal knowledge and experience of previous projects serve as a frame of reference.. However, this knowledge often remains implicit. In this study we explore a technique in which members of a design team make all personal knowledge and assumptions about use in a certain product domain explicit. In this technique we distinguish remembering, imagining, experiencing and envisioning use. The information that is gathered in this way is captured in a matrix which structures use situation aspects and corresponding use issues. These issues concern user experience, usability as well as performance. In three workshops with different designers we explored the benefits and limitations of such a technique. Particularly iterating between remembering, imagining and experiencing worked very well to evoke experiences of the designers.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & Eggink, W. 2010, 'Dynamics and diversity in use: implications for aesthetics and usability', DS 62: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, (E&PDE 2010) International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - When Design Education and Design Research meet ..., The Design Society, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway, pp. 230-235.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The ease of use or usability of a product depends not only on product characteristics, but on the user characteristics and environment in which a product is used as well. Products that are used in varying use situations therefore have to meet varying usability demands. In our research on dynamics and diversity in use we study the means by which designers deal with these demands. In the course humanproduct relations of the bachelor Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) of the University of Twente, students learn to view and explore the relations between humans and products. These relations can consider aesthetics value, influence of behaviour and usability. When considering the dynamics or diversity of situations in which a product is used this does not only have implications for usability, it influences aesthetic relations as well. Our research on dynamic usability therefore allows for exploration with regard to implications for aesthetic demands. In the course these topics were brought together in a half-day multidisciplinary workshop. The topics were explored by means of theory and exercises. This paper gives an overview of this theory and is illustrated by exercises executed during the workshop and results of the design assignment (street furniture) in which students had to apply the theory. The collaboration in education between researchers in the fields of usability and aesthetics resulted in both interesting design education and inspiration for future research.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & Boess, S. 2009, 'Small usability techniques', Design for Usability Symposium, Delft.
Small usability techniques can evaluate (early) design representations without actual end-users. Because they only give limited insight into the target use situation, they should be combined with prior user research and user tests. Nevertheless, the faciliators' research in design practice (Boess, 2009) shows that designers need and make use of small techniques for interim evaluation while designing. The workshop therefore looked at how to give these small techniques a place in the overall design process while discussing their practical application, added value and fit with more formal usability testing.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & van der Voort, M.C. 2009, 'Strategies to design for dynamic usability', Korean Society of Design Science, IASDR 2009: Design | Rigor & Relevance, IASDR, Seoul, Korea, pp. 1-10.
Since usability is a property of the interaction between a product, a user and the task that he or she is trying to complete , a products usability can vary when it is used in varying use situations. We define this as dynamic usability. This study is aimed at exploring how practitioners currently deal with dynamic usability. From a retrospective case study research of three design projects different principles and strategies were formulated for dealing with dynamic use situations. In this paper we present solution principles that are applied to accommodate products to dynamic use situations and we discuss two design process issues with regard to dynamic usability, namely the information sources that are used to get insight in the use situations and the means by which designers try to get insight in the consequence of their design decisions with regard to future use situations.
van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & van der Voort, M.C. 2006, 'Design for dynamic use situations', Wonderground international conference proceedings, WONDERGROUND: Design Research Society International Conference 2006, CEIADE - Centro Editorial do IADE, Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 1-5.
More and more consumer products are used in situations that are characterized by varying users, user characteristics, environments and purposes. This increase of the `dynamics of use situations is caused by technological developments. The ongoing trend of automation of services results in an increasing number of products that are used by a wide variety of people such as ATMs, copiers and museum audio guides. Furthermore the growing opportunities of wireless applications result in an increasing number of mobile products that therefore can be used in different kinds of environments. A static environment can be dynamic as well when objects and persons within it are subject to change. In order to support the needs of each individual user in each individual context of use a designer should attune products to this dynamic use situation, thereby achieving a high level of usability. This paper discusses the criteria a design method for dynamic use situations should meet.