My research addresses the roles of users and designers in the design process . It focuses especially on the early phases of the design process, where the input from and dialogue with users can play a contributing role to new creative ideas. This research programme is based on my former activities; contextmapping and communicating rich experience information to design companies. I critically explore how users can play a contributing role, by giving them various roles, such as informers, everyday users, lead users, experts of their experiences or even co-designers in several stages of the design process. These various roles imply various roles for designers and facilitators as well during the encounters with users. Moreover designers often need to involve not only users but several stakeholders as well, which implies new skills and approaches for designers.
I am co-promotor of Joanna Kwiatkowska (generative tools to explore near interaction futures).
Currently I work on two projects:
MyFutures (funded project under the Research through Design Programme of NWO). Project lead in this project, which is a collaboration with Design Academy Eindhoven and many other partners. We investigate how people can be supported by new services in growing old in our changing society. Period summer 2016- summer 2018
Ford Service Innovation Methodology. Enabling Ford Research and Innovation Center with the service design methodology at our Faculty through a series of graduation projects, trainings and workshops. Period March 2016-September 2017.
My current research interests in these projects and beyond:
- theory and practice of journey mapping
- theory and practice of empathic design
- theory and practice of user- and stakeholder involvement in innovation process
- developing education for service design perspective
My past research activities:
- project management and coordinating role of action researchers in several user-centred design cases of service design agencies around Utrecht Central Station(2010-2013). This is part of the Innovation in Services Programme
- supervision of researcher Menno Manschot. Menno focuses on how a user-centred approach can be evaluated in terms of effectivity. He has been developing a measuring tool that involves ROI, customer satisfaction questionnaires and add qualitative data to measure the effect of a user centred approach. This project was part of an ongoing Service Design project with several design agencies for Utrecht Central Station. (2010-2013)
- In 2012 I was copromotor at the defence of Helma van Rijn. PhD project Helma van Rijn. Helma investigated how designers can get insight into difficult to reach user groups, e.g. children with autism or people with dementia (2007-2011)