This research began by addressing the question: can effective interface design
guidelines be produced for use in the design of future consumer product
A literature review explored published studies evaluating existing Human-
Computer Interaction guidelines to establish their effectiveness in relation to
CPT. Through this review, effectiveness was found to be limited but
potentially could be improved using user-centred design methods. In
response, six short studies were undertaken to produce user-centred CPT
guidelines and to evaluate them using two sets of effectiveness criteria:
specificity and applicability. These studies supported findings from the HCI
literature. Despite improving the specificity and applicability of the CPT
guidelines, passive, non-bespoke design guidelines have still been shown to
have little impact on interaction design activity.
Other links between research and practice needed to be identified. Two
further field investigations indicated that, whilst the use of ergonomics
methods was limited in commercial design consultancies, certain types of
participative methods considering 'situated design in context' might be
A second literature review was conducted to explore the importance of
context-based design activity. As an outcome, design tools were proposed
using participative design techniques involving games and role playing.
Through a second series of five laboratory and field studies, the proposed
design tools were developed and iteratively evaluated. It was demonstrated
that the design tools could affect interaction design activity, but further work
is still required on improving one of the applicability criteria - 'organisational
These findings demonstrated that interaction designers can effectively
produce their own design data using the design tools provided that this
design activity is situated within the context of an interaction design
problem. It has also been shown that if interaction design tools are to be
effective they should satisfy all specificity and applicability criteria
established in this inquiry.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University. In two volumes.