Using design methods to explore the context of complex behavioral design problems in the early stages of behavioural design

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, Nadège Troussier
Author: Falcão Duarte, Carolina; Daalhuizen, Jaap
Series: ICED
Institution: Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 3741-3750
DOI number:


Behavioural design has been gaining momentum to address critical societal challenges such as elderly care. At the same time, it struggles to deal with complex challenges and integrate multiple contextual factors' influence in domains like healthcare. Behavioural design processes lack guidance on how to prevent this and instead define problems that are ecologically valid. Conventional design methods do guide designers to do this. Thus there is a need to investigate how design methods can support behavioural designers to explore the context and integrate multiple perspectives on the problem, resulting in context-sensitive problem definitions. To respond to this need, we present a case where designers used a combination of design methods to investigate the complex context of hygiene in nursing homes. We show how combining different design methods supported the designers in advancing their understanding of a complex context and the problematic behaviours that occurred in it. We conclude by discussing the importance of using design methods to reveal important insights at the early stages of the behavioural design process.

Keywords: Behavioural design, Case study, Elderly care, Design methods, Complexity

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