A Collaborative Effort: Integrating Interaction Design Evaluation into Product Design Process
Cheryl Zhenyu Qian
Assistant Professor, Interaction Design
Formative evaluation plays an important role in the domain of interaction design (IXD). It occurs throughout the design and development processes, with the results of evaluation feeding back to revise the design. How important is formative evaluation in a product design process? Will this method obstruct creativity or can it inspire and promote better design? In the fall of 2010, students from a senior-level product design course and a graduate-level interaction design course were grouped together to work on a GE Healthcare sponsored design project: home-based health monitors for individuals with cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Product design students led the overall process of design and IXD students designed the interactive design components of the concepts and ran formative evaluations iteratively to improve the outcome during the process. This paper will report the structure and outcomes of these design collaborations, highlights the gains and losses in the process, and most importantly, illustrates a potential path to conduct such design education in the future.