The Design of a new NICU Patient Area: Combining Design for Usability and Design for Emotion

GARDE, Julia and VAN DER VOORT, Mascha (2009). The Design of a new NICU Patient Area: Combining Design for Usability and Design for Emotion. In: Undisciplined! Design Research Society Conference 2008, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, 16-19 July 2008.


Download (1MB) | Preview


In the design of medical products both usability and emotional experience are important to be considered. Usability can enhance the work situation of medical staff and ensure patient safety. Emotion related product aspects, on the other hand, influence the recovery pace of patients as well as the work satisfaction of staff. For an optimal medical design both aspects should receive well-balanced attention during the design process.

Usability and emotional experience are currently related in literature. However, about the relation between these two aspects in practical design projects little information is available. Therefore we will discuss the exploration of the practical relation between Design for Usability and Design for Emotion in a design process. We explored the relation during concurrent application of both design approaches to the design of a patient area for a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Our aim was not to develop a new design method, but to explore in practice how both design approaches could be addressed concurrently. This paper describes the applied design approach, its strength and weaknesses as well as the design results. Overall, the NICU design case has proven that the concurrent application of Design for Emotion and Design for Usability is feasible in practice and results in a satisfactory design.

Usability; Design For Emotion; Medical Appliance; Participatory Design; Case Study

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (-)
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2009
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 13:35

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics