Pelvic floor disorder (PFD) refers to a weakened or damaged muscle structure affecting the self-esteem, confidence and social participation of affected women. With appropriate training, the weakened muscles can be strengthened, but for a long-term improvement the women need to be actively engaged in the process. While there exists a range of devices that can intra-vaginally measure pelvic floor activation and help women do their exercises, it is unclear how the appearance of the devices may affect women’s willingness to use them. We believe that a further understanding around the appearance of these devices may help women feel more comfortable using them, therefore helping them care for their health. We carried out interviews and online questionnaires with women (n:70) who use the devices and clinicians (n:4). We report on identified areas where the appearance of devices is important for women. We present the iterative design process and evaluation of a system aimed at facilitating self-directed pelvic floor management based on this research. We suggest that discrepancies in the responses from participants call for personalisation of the device to meet individual user expectations and increase the design sensitivity when designing for smart devices that help women care for their health.
Successful stroke rehabilitation relies on early, long-term, repetitive and intensive treatment, which is rarely adhered to by patients. Exergames can increase patients’ engagement with their therapy. Marketed exergaming systems for lower limb rehabilitation are hard to find and, none yet, facilitate Strength for Task Training (STT), a novel physiotherapeutic method for stroke rehabilitation. STT involves performing brief but intensive strength training (priming) prior to task-specific training to promote neural plasticity and maximize the gains in locomotor ability. This research investigates how the design of an exergame system (game and game controller) for lower limb stroke rehabilitation can facilitate unsupervised STT and therefore allow stroke patients to care for their own health. The findings suggest that specific elements of STT can be incorporated in an exergame system. Barriers to use can be reduced through considering the diverse physiological and cognitive abilities of patients and aesthetic consideration can help create a meaningful system than promotes its use in the home. The semantics of form and movement play an essential role for stroke patients to be able to carry out their exercises.
Designing for surprise is a useful tool for designers and can elevate a product from mundane to memorable, drawing attention and inviting engagement. Existing strategies have explored surprise in product design through the exploration of sensory incongruities, most notably visual-tactile incongruities: when an object looks different to what it feels like to touch. There are two digital technologies that offer new opportunities to investigate surprise in tangible-embedded interactive systems: 3D printing and tangible interaction through sensor controls. Research is yet to investigate how visually tactually incongruous 3D printing can offer new strategies for eliciting surprise in lighting design through tangible-embedded interactive systems. This research addresses this identified gap by assessing the applicability of the Ludden’s strategies to surprise through 3D printing. This was performed through the design of a series of experimental 3D printed objects and lights that sought to surprise by using visual-tactile incongruities. We suggest new approaches expressed through the final designs of four interactive lights; objects designed to inspire delight through their unique interactions and surprising qualities. We report on new strategies to surprise by using an experiential gap between vision and touch through 3D printing and we report the findings from user-testing sessions.