Designing for Human Factors: Development and Evaluation of a Harmonistic Knowledge-based Design Decision Support Tool

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Agius, Sean; Farrugia, Philip; Francalanza, Emmanuel
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Malta
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 1367-1376
DOI number:


Dual ontological products are a physical construction and an emotional construction. Multitude of human factors must be considering when designing dual ontological products. To increase the product’s impact and reach, designers should also understand the requirements of potential users. A design stage conflict exists between the emotional construction and the physical construction of a product when considering human factors. Designers find it difficult to achieve the right compromise between these constructions and hence, the balancing of the two is crucial. This research therefore contributes a novel harmonistic knowledge-based framework which makes designers aware of design stage conflicts and consequences of commitments made on human factors in the use-phase of the artefact. This approach was implemented in a machine learning based computational tool which exploits harmonistic knowledge and information collected from potential users to proactively assist, guide, and motivate product designers. This paper also presents a descriptive study for the evaluation of the framework and its implementation as a computer-based prototype tool. Results show the necessity and beneficial use of the tool for design engineering practice.

Keywords: Computational design methods, Machine learning, User centred design, Concurrent Engineering (CE), Design synthesis

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