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Investigating designers’ and users’ cognitive representations of products to assist inclusive interaction design

Abstract

There is strong evidence of the importance of good interaction design in the creation of intuitive-use products. However, there is also a strong indication, both in the literature and in the study with designers documented in this paper, that despite this evidence designers get little support in adequately representing, analysing and comparing design and user information. Since designers require a practical and relatively easy-to-use support tool that would enable them to better understand cognitive processes of users and evaluate the accessibility and usability of different product features, this paper proposes the Goals-Actions-Beliefs-Objects (GABO) modelling approach that can form the basis of such a tool for designers. The four distinct stages of the GABO approach are designed to assess and compare designers and users’ understanding and usage of everyday products. The evaluation results of the GABO approach with eight product designers have indicated that designers find it useful and effective in identifying the key similarities and differences in the understanding of designers and users.

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Mieczakowski, A., Langdon, P. & Clarkson, P.J. Investigating designers’ and users’ cognitive representations of products to assist inclusive interaction design. Univ Access Inf Soc 12, 279–296 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10209-012-0278-8

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Keywords

  • Inclusive design
  • Mental models
  • Product design
  • Cognition
  • Prior experience
  • Approach to modelling user understanding