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Design and evaluation of a software prototype for participatory planning of environmental adaptations

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3 Author(s)
Eriksson, J. ; Dept. of Design Sci., Lund Univ., Sweden ; Ek, A. ; Johansson, G.

A software prototype to support the planning process for adapting home and work environments for people with physical disabilities was designed and later evaluated. The prototype exploits low-cost three-dimensional (3-D) graphics products in the home computer market. The essential features of the prototype are: interactive rendering with optional hardware acceleration, interactive walkthroughs, direct manipulation tools for moving objects and measuring distances, and import of 3-D-objects from a library. A usability study was conducted, consisting of two test sessions (three weeks apart) and a final interview. The prototype was then tested and evaluated by representatives of future users: five occupational therapist students, and four persons with physical disability, with no previous experience of the prototype. Emphasis in the usability study was placed on the prototype's efficiency and learnability. The authors found that it is possible to realise a planning tool for environmental adaptations, both regarding usability and technical efficiency. The usability evaluation confirms our findings from previous case studies, regarding the relevance and positive attitude towards this kind of planning tool. Although the prototype was found to be satisfactorily efficient for the basic tasks, the paper presents several suggestions for improvement of future prototype versions

Published in:

Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 2000

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