Design Your Life: User-Initiated Design of Technology to Support Independent Living of Young Autistic Adults

Thijs Waardenburg*, Niels van Huizen, Jelle van Dijk, Maurice Magnée, Wouter Staal, Jan-Pieter Teunisse, Mascha C. van der Voort

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper describes the development of and first experiences with 'Design Your Life': a novel method aimed at user-initiated design of technologies supporting young autistic adults in independent living. A conceptual, phenomenological background resulting in four core principles is described. Taking a practice-oriented Research-through-Design approach, three co-design case studies were conducted, in which promising methods from the co-design literature with the lived experiences and practical contexts of autistic young adults and their caregivers is contrasted. This explorative inquiry provided some first insights into several design directions of the Design Your Life-process. In a series of new case studies that shall follow, the Design Your Life-method will be iteratively developed, refined and ultimately validated in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign, User Experience, and Usability
Subtitle of host publicationDesign for Diversity, Well-being, and Social Development
EditorsMarcelo M. Soares, Elizabeth Rosenzweig, Aaron Marcus
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic) 978-3-030-78224-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-78223-8
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event10th International Conference, DUXU 2021: Held as Part of the 23rd HCI International Conference, HCII 2021, Virtual Event -
Duration: 24 Jul 202129 Jul 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


Conference10th International Conference, DUXU 2021


  • Autism
  • Assistive technology
  • Phenomenology
  • Participatory Design
  • Research Through Design
  • Independent living
  • 22/1 OA procedure

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