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EPICS-Purdue Human-Centered Design. Carla B. Zoltowski EPICS Conference 2009. The EPICS Design Cycle. Problem Identification. Specification Development. Redesign. Retirement. Conceptual Design. Detailed Design. Service Maintenance. Production. Disposal. Motivation.

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Epics purdue human centered design

EPICS-Purdue Human-Centered Design

Carla B. Zoltowski

EPICS Conference 2009

The epics design cycle
The EPICS Design Cycle

Problem Identification







Detailed Design






Experience and literature provide many examples of lack of understanding of user in design

Examples in EPICS

Design of Everyday Things (Norman)

Set Phasers On Stun (Casey)

Motivation ideo
Motivation: IDEO

“Design thinking … enables us to collectively tackle problems and ideas that are more complex than the lone designer can imagine:

inaccessible healthcare, billions of people living on a few dollars a day, energy usage outpacing the planet's ability to support it, education systems that fail students, and beyond.

These problems all have people at their heart. They require a collaborative, human-centered, iterative, and practical approach to finding the best ideas and ultimate solutions. Design thinking is just such an approach to innovation. “ (IDEO Website)

Motivation cont
Motivation, cont.

Utilizing human-centered design processes

Increase productivity

Improve quality

Reduce errors

Reduce training and support costs

Improve people’s acceptance of new products

Enhance companies’ reputations

Increase user satisfaction

Reduce development costs

(Maguire, Damodaran)

Motivation cont1
Motivation, cont.

  • Paradigm shift from “technology-centered” to “human-centered” (Krippendorff)

Human centered design processes
Human-Centered Design Processes

User-centered design

“Approach to design that grounds the process in information about the people who will use the product. UCD processes focus on users through the planning, design and development of a product.” (UPA website)

Participatory Design

“Commitment to worker participation in design and an effort to rebalance the power relations between users and technical experts and between workers and managers” (Kensing and Blomberg)

Human centered design processes1
Human-Centered Design Processes

Contextual Design

Beyer and Holtzblatt

Context on which product is used

Inclusive Design

Clarkson, Coleman, Keates, Lebbon

Goal is to allow the greatest number of people to user the product being designed and does not exclude people from using it unnecessarily.

Ucd process and products
UCD: Process and Products

1. Plan UCD: Decisions about

which methods to use

2. Specify context of use:

Description of users,

tasks, context, problems

5. Evaluate against rqmts:

Data on how well system

meets expectations

3. Specify user/org rqmts:

Statements about what

the design should fulfill

4. Produce Design Solutions:

System specifications

Slide by Dennis Wixon; adapted from Maguire 2001, p. 589 & ISO 13407

Methods for user centered design
Methods for user-centered design

Maguire 2001, p. 590


“It’s a lesson that too few companies have learned even today. ‘If a picture paints a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand pictures,’ says Eisermann,” director of strategic design agency Prospect.

Service learning

Learning tied to academic learning outcomes, content and standards

Service meeting real needs in community, especially under-served

Reciprocal in nature

Engineering service-learning models:


Engineers Without Borders

Engineers for a Sustainable World

Service-learning User-centered Design

The epics design cycle1
The EPICS Design Cycle

Problem Identification







Detailed Design





As educators
As educators….

How can educators help students develop understanding and skills needed for human-centered design?

What experiences contribute most to students’ learning of human-centered design and development of understanding of the user?

First need to map the space
First need to map the space

First educators need to map the space, i.e., understand the variations in the way that the students experience and understand

Human-centered design

Understand the user and the role of the user in design

Incorporate the users’ needs into the product

Current research
Current Research

What are the qualitatively different ways that students who design for “others” experience and understand human-centered design, understand the user and the role of the user in design, and incorporate the users’ needs into the products?


What are the attributes of service-learning courses that help students develop an understanding of human-centered design process?



Qualitative method of research in which the object of research is the “variation in ways of experiencing phenomena.” (Marton and Booth)

Example studies

Sustainable design (Mann)

Learning object-oriented programming (Stamouli and Huggard)

Engagement and creativity in design (Reid and Solomonides)

Design across the disciplines (Daly)

Phenomenographic research
Phenomenographic Research

Explore the range of meanings within a sample group

Collective experience vs. individual experience

Typically uses interviews

Interviews considered within context of all of the other interviews

No other evidence used in analysis except transcripts

Example outcome space
Example Outcome Space

Daly, ASEE 09