Human-Centered Design: Emotions

The paper “Assistive Technology and User-Centered Design: Emotion as Element for Innovation” published in 2015 focuses on the emotions evoked from the user perspective in using the Assistive Technology (AT). When we design for AT, our center of focus is usually one or more of the followings: user’s physical needs, capabilities and design constraints. However, in most cases, “it is the equipment not the functional problem that depreciates the person with disability to the eyes of other people.” The sense of isolation from use of AT therefore results in unfavorable use of the technology. Correspondingly, the emotional feelings of the user should be the priority of the AT design as means to truly offer satisfactory assistance to those in need. Instead of enhancing the physical capabilities of the AT design, it is by no means more important to innovate designs from an emotional standpoint.

This article relates greatly to the Human component of the HAAT model as well as to our specific AT project. It places greatest emphasis on how the user interacts with the AT as well as his/her feelings towards how others’ perceive of them under the help of AT. In particular, it is extremely important to understand where the inadequacy of some current AT comes from, specifically whether it is in fact a technological need or, more significantly, an emotional complaint. Technological complaints may be satisfied by advancement of most recent technology. Yet, emotional unsatisfactory requires a fundamental change in the AT designed.

“Pleasure and emotion support interaction and rehabilitation.” Where both user’s physical and emotional needs are met with the AT design is when AT achieves its success.

Leave a Reply