The problem is not the existence of technological solutions, it is the way people accept it and can interact with it.
Internet of things, industry 4.0, 3D printing, augmented reality, are promising technologies, but will only succeed if accepted by the users.
Usability and user experience methodologies can help to develop products, services and systems that enhance the human performance (usability) and emotional reactions (user experience).
Within this research area, we study:
- The methods and tools to evaluate usability and human emotional reactions. For the usability, tools to measure the human performance during task performance and for user experience, tools like face reading, EEG, EMG, skin conductance and scale questionnaires.
- The user acceptance, particularly for new technological solutions, using scale questionnaires inside simulation scenarios.
- The evaluation of new products, services and systems.
- In development of new products, services and systems, in a user centered design perspective.
Some developed projects in this area
- eExhibitions Project
The eExhibitions project developed a web-based service to create flexible and easy-to-use service tool for the creation of virtual exhibitions, based on exhibition content uploaded to a central database via a web interface. It enables the creation of joint exhibitions from geographically distant members’ locations.
- ELIP Project
The bicycle is an efficient way to move from a point another and also a possibility to do some exercise and enjoy the nature.There is a big quantity of different bicycles in the market, but all of then, with circular wheels. In this context, a concept with elliptical wells could be a good idea? This study aims to answer this question. From the ergonomics point of view, the important measures to evaluate this new concept of bicycle are related with; functional efficiency (fatigue and easy to use); safety (possibility to fall and fear to fall) and pleasure (emotional satisfaction). In this context, this work discusses the methodology approach to get these measures. The efficiency of the proposed methodology was discussed, by analysing the results of a pilot study. This analysis showed that the proposed methodology was effective to evaluate a new concept of an innovative product. Tests have shown that the bicycle with elliptical wheels provoked strong emotional reactions in users and people who saw the use of the bicycle. Regarding usability, it was found that users reported the need to make more effort in moving the bicycle with elliptical wheels than with a bicycle with circular wheels.
- Ren4EEnIEQ - Comprehensive BIM add-on tool for the improvement of energy efficiency and indoor environment quality in renovation of buildings
This research project aims to develop a comprehensive tool for deep building renovation, which comprises the building survey, design generation, building geometry optimization, and Energy Systems (ES) and Construction System (CS) optimization in single BIM add-on tool. A user interactive multi-optimization procedure will be developed to assist the architect in searching for the best building renovation solution that minimizes energy consumption (EC) and maximizes the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in a cost effective manner. The resulting tool will be tested in architectural design practice scenarios to determine its strengths and weaknesses. The results will be written in a tool guidebook and disseminated in a technical seminar on building retrofit/renovation.