Knowledge and Methods for INclusive PRoduct Design

KINdReD research is being done in order to improve the inclusive design process by integrating inclusive design guidelines into existing modular product design techniques. This will solve the issues of low market share and high expense of inclusive products by reducing the effort and cost involved in creating inclusively designed products. 

KINdRed stands for Knowledge and Methods for Inclusive Product Design. It is a multiphase joint research project between Oregon State University and Texas A&M University funded by the National Science Foundation Division of Civil Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (NSF CMMI). The research project focuses on upper extremity physical disabilities and hand tools.

The project has completed the first phase of customer needs collection. This involves eliticing statements to determine what set of customer needs should be considered for inclusive design. This is done through interviews/experiments with participants with and without disabilities. The tests use a set of products examined in detail through a previous phase of the project to provide coorelation between use statements and known functionality. The statements participants make about the devices will be translated into customer needs that can be categorized and provided to designers as part of the inclusive design guidelines. The tests were administered and analyzed by Jessie Armstrong for her masters thesis.

The secondary purpose of the tests are to validate the disability simulation suit developed by an earlier phase of the project. Disability simulation provides access to a larger subject pool as well as an avenue for education for designers about the issues faced by people with disabilities. The suit was designed by Adam Raher for his master's project. If the suit performs adequately, the information provided by people in the suit will be similar to that of the people with disabilities. The results are promising on the suit's ability to match the statments of people with and without disabilities, which is a good indicator of accuracy. There is also indications that the suit is too restrictive to match the physical characteristics of disabilities. More research is planned to calibrate and test the suit.