The needfinding machine

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This thesis develops and evaluates a method for allowing designers to perform needfinding by remotely interacting with users in real-time through computer-enabled interactive devices. While interactive systems present new opportunities for creating intelligent products that adapt to their users, these devices may also help designers understand people's needs by providing a view into users' everyday experiences. This thesis asks: how can designers use interactive devices to connect with users to receive information and feedback about their in-context experiences with interactive products? To answer this question, I develop the Needfinding Machine. Using the Needfinding Machine method, a designer in-the-loop observes the user, asks questions through an interactive machine, and remotely performs the machine's behaviors in real-time as a way to conduct problem-space exploration in-context. This thesis has four major components. Part one gives an overview of the Needfinding Machine and situates the method among other design methods for understanding people and their needs. Part two presents a lab-based study exploring how we can use machines that speak to elicit meaningful information from people. I then move out of the lab and evaluate how practicing designers can use a needfinding machine to understand their users. Part three develops a needfinding machine for use in automobiles called WoZ Way. I then discuss a case study with designers from Renault using WoZ Way to understand driver experience with currently available advanced driving assistance features. Finally, part four presents a case study with an interaction research team from Spotify using a needfinding machine I developed, called DJ Bot, to explore people's experience with music in two contexts, the car and the home. These projects present a proof-of-concept for using interactive devices for real-time remote needfinding and describe how designers can engage with the Needfinding Machine method.


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource.
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2018; ©2018
Publication date 2018; 2018
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author Martelaro, Nikolas
Degree supervisor Ju, Wendy, 1975-
Degree supervisor Leifer, Larry J
Thesis advisor Ju, Wendy, 1975-
Thesis advisor Leifer, Larry J
Thesis advisor Hinds, Pamela
Thesis advisor Landay, James A, 1967-
Degree committee member Hinds, Pamela
Degree committee member Landay, James A, 1967-
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Mechanical Engineering.


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Nikolas Martelaro.
Note Submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Thesis Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2018.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2018 by Nikolas Martelaro
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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