A conceptual framework for designing wearable technology

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Previous studies showing the shortfalls of Wearable Technology demonstrate the lack of attention to aesthetics and the absence of an approach that positions the user importantly in the design process (Co 2000, Orth 2001, Boehner et al 2005, Dunne et al 2005, Waitier 2003, Viseu 2005). This thesis attempts to tackle this problem by understanding the design process in Wearable Technology. It explores the field of design thinking from the designer’s perspective specifically in Wearable Technology, where interdisciplinary discourse integrating fashion, human-computer interaction, fine arts and the digital media culture merge and are intertwined. Existing and related design theories of Wearable Technology have allowed extraction of design attributes of Wearable Technology that is holistic and flexible. These design attributes were then reflected on in semi-structured interviews involving designers who have experienced designing Wearable Technology. The resulting phenomenological analyses from the transcripts were then compared to the offered design attributes to further understand how these design attributes behave in the design process of Wearable Technology. The research findings in this thesis offer a new conceptualization strategy for Wearable Technology designers that includes a set of design attributes and their characteristics in design process which are beneficial in understanding the design process itself. This conceptualization strategy and its application to Wearable Technology design render the possibility for designers to understand the user progressively during the design process.
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