Should we design for the masses or the individual? Due to manufacturing restrictions, industrial designers in the past have often erred to designing for the masses, taking a generalised approach to their users’ ergonomic needs. Many users were grouped together in the design of products, such as video game controllers, and left with products that were not optimised, or were poorly suited to their ergonomic needs, resulting in discomfort.
ShapeController investigates how individuals interact with current video game controllers, their perception of comfort and usability, and how controllers can be better tailored to the individual’s ergonomic needs.
Taking a cooperative design approach, ShapeController aims to integrate gamers in the process of making their own personal controller. This is done in a way that engages the use of their own tactics in lead user activities.
ShapeController culminates in a product service system that uses a physical ergonomic profiler in retail stores to collect data about an individual user’s preferences so that a custom 3D printed controller can be output for their specific needs.
This research improves a designer’s ability to gather information about individual users on a mass scale, potentially transforming the way designers interact with a product’s user base, in order to give users a more complete design solution.