Design considerations for therapeutic devices - an investigation of pre-schoolers preferences for an artefact's basic characteristics

Emanuel Balzan, Philip Farrugia, Owen Casha, Liberato Camilleri, Andrew Wodehouse

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Contribution

Abstract

Toys are children's first consumer products and while playing they acquire numerous skills, learn about their environment and socialise with other children and adults. Toys are adapted and used by clinicians as therapeutic devices because they allow them to create bonds and communicate with children. Aesthetical aspects should be considered early in the design process, especially since pre-schoolers’ views are still dominated by the appearance of artefacts, also known as, the perceptual salient characteristics. The study of emotions mediates the understanding of the relationships between a product, user and the process with which consumers set up preferences over products. Decisions taken in each design stage will influence whether therapeutic devices will be enjoyed by children. An experiment was carried out to test out pre-schoolers’ preferences on individual attributes: form, dimension, material (hardness and weight) and surface (appearance and texture). This study exposed dominant characteristic preferences and the fact that some are influenced by gender and age. Employing these findings in therapeutic devices will enable clinicians to better engage the children during therapy.
LanguageEnglish
Pages877-886
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Design Society: International Conference on Engineering Design
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019
Event22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 2019) - Technical University of Delft, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Aug 20198 Aug 2019
Conference number: 22
https://www.iced19.org/

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Consumer products
Textures
Hardness
Experiments

Keywords

  • emotional design
  • user centred design
  • early design phases
  • perceptual salient characteristics

Cite this

Balzan, Emanuel ; Farrugia, Philip ; Casha, Owen ; Camilleri, Liberato ; Wodehouse, Andrew. / Design considerations for therapeutic devices - an investigation of pre-schoolers preferences for an artefact's basic characteristics. 2019 ; Vol. 1, No. 1. pp. 877-886.
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Design considerations for therapeutic devices - an investigation of pre-schoolers preferences for an artefact's basic characteristics. / Balzan, Emanuel; Farrugia, Philip; Casha, Owen; Camilleri, Liberato ; Wodehouse, Andrew.

Vol. 1, No. 1, 31.07.2019, p. 877-886.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Contribution

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AU - Wodehouse, Andrew

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