|Better Designs, Better Outcomes: The Role of Product Designers in Assistive Technology Research
Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) Annual Conference
By collaborating with designers, assistive technology (AT) researchers can improve their odds for success. The ethnographic, user-centered approach and corresponding research methods used by design researchers are a valuable complement to the quantitative approach and methods commonly used for AT research. A design research methodology is particularly useful at moving beyond existing solutions, and uncovering the “unarticulated needs” of AT consumers. The resulting devices and services can better meet the needs, wants, and desires of AT consumers, therefore improving consumer satisfaction and decreasing the likelihood of device abandonment.