Everyone has a part to play: games and participatory design in healthcare

Julia Anne Garde

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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The design of new and improved work processes and work environments in healthcare is an important but challenging task. The design problems can be highly complex and changes to existing work processes are often met with resistance by employees if they do not understand why the changes are needed and how the changes came to be. To address these challenges designing and implementing new and improved work processes, environments, tools and appliances in healthcare can benefit from three things: (1) access to experience and knowledge of all the stakeholders involved, (2) a detailed understanding of the total use sitution, and (3) the commitment of the stakeholders. This thesis offers a new approach to designing new work processes, work environments, tools, and appliances in healthcare that deals with all three challenges. In particular, the contributions of the present research are fourfold: (1) the development of the Healthcare Environment & Activity Design (HEAD) game to enable practice experts from healthcare to explore complex design problems, elicit tacit knowledge, and derive creative design solutions, (2) showing that the developed game has a high overall usability and ability to empower the development of feasible design solutions, (3) assessing the usability and benefits of a participatory design approach and showing that by carefully implementing the HEAD game in a participatory design project approach convincing staff commitment can be achieved, (4) verifying the value of the design game for applications outside of a genuine participatory design approach with (a) participants with knowledge and expertise relevant to the use context, but no stakes, and with (b) designers who possessed design skills, but had no expertise relevant to the project's use context.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • van Houten, F.J.A.M., Supervisor
  • van der Voort, Mascha C., Co-Supervisor
Award date20 Dec 2013
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3589-2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2013


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