Systematic framework to apply extraordinary user perspective to capture latent needs among ordinary users

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


Research units

  • Singapore University of Technology and Design


This study aims to provide a systematic framework to apply emulation tools that could help designers to experience an extraordinary user perspective (users with some form of physical or cognitive impairment). Past studies have supported the impact of using tools that emulate a physically restricted scenario to evoke creativity and empathy among designers. The proposed approach for Empathic Experience Design (EED) guides designers to have better leverage emulation tools to understand the latent design needs from recommended extraordinary user perspectives. The framework combines the physical parameters involved while interacting with a product with the interaction activities associated with the product. This combination is used to select empathy tools that will provide an interactive experience by eliminating those parameters. By eliminating the identified parameters, participants tend to look at the design needs from the emulated extraordinary user perspectives. The framework was tested with a pilot study in which 37 participants (20 participants for Treatment Group 1 and 17 participants for Treatment Group 2) of ages 20-26 were asked to redesign a medical syringe. The extraordinary use cases implemented in this study are visual impairment, hearing impairment, low dexterity and single hand usage. The study not only tested the recommended systematic approach, but it also showed the application of an extraordinary user perspective to understand the general latent needs associated with medical devices that are less likely to be used by extraordinary users. The results are promising evidence that a simple systematic approach to implement empathic design tools could have a higher impact than an unguided instinct based approach to choose the tools. The results also show that, when applied efficiently, the approach could capture a wide variety of latent needs from potential extraordinary user perspectives'.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: 26 Aug 201829 Aug 2018
Conference number: 30


ConferenceASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
Abbreviated titleIDETC/CIE
CityQuebec City

ID: 30230020