Demographic factors and their influence on designer creativity and empathy evoked through user extreme conditions

Sujithra Raviselvam, Sanaei Roozbeh, Lucienne Blessing, Katja Hölttä-Otto, Kristin L. Wood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Past work has demonstrated that simulating an extraordinary user scenario could have an impact on increasing designer empathy and creativity. It is likely, however, that an individual’s background could make a difference on how such simulated scenarios influence designers and how well the design method works. In this paper, we study the impact of demography and personal connection of the participants to any given simulated scenario versus their response to different empathic simulation workshops. With a variety of design tools and techniques available, understanding such influencing factors could help designers decide on the appropriate design tool for effective ideation. In this study, we investigated the effect of 81 (49 female and 32 male) users from three different workshops that simulated three different extraordinary user scenarios. Results of the study show that personal connection to a population being simulated significantly affects the impact a simulated scenario has on evoking creativity and empathy. And, for the given set of participants, gender did not show significant impact on the participants’ response.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 29th ASME International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-0-7918-5821-9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Design Theory and Methodology - Cleveland, United States
Duration: 6 Aug 20179 Aug 2017
Conference number: 29

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences
ISSN (Print)2159-7383


ConferenceInternational Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
CountryUnited States


  • creativity

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