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As you may have read, a lot of research has been done for this project. Together with this research a lot of inspiration for the possibilities that we could make was gained. At the start of the project, an extensive context mapping study was conducted. From the papers we found that there was already a lot of research for designing with visually impaired. This resulted in us gaining a lot of information about what has been done already, what is possible and where the improvements lie.

Next to the context mapping study, we looked into the running blind community. We found out that there are many visually impaired who ‘run’ into the same problem. There even is a product already developed by Google, called Project Guidelines. Also lots of opinions and recommendations were found that are taken into account. Finally, the people we are designing for were of great value. They had great ideas about what they would like. For instance, they said they would like a ‘cart and wagon’ concept, which resembles our product quite well. Also while we were co-designing with them they gave great feedback and things they would like to see.



AGE: 54
OCCUPATION: Factory employee
LOCATION: Naarden, Netherlands

Jan is an active middle-aged man living together with his wife just outside the fort. Every morning on weekdays a shuttle bus comes to pick him up from his home and brings him to the factory. Jan works in a factory where he packages promotional gifts. Even though the work is not very diverse he likes being busy and he always has a lot of fun with his colleagues. It is difficult for Jan to find another job because he was born blind. Due to a medical mistake at birth Jan has never been able to see. Which means he does not know depth, colour and visual
shapes. Jan knows the world by sounds and feel. He even dreams in
sounds instead of in visuals. He uses a white cane to guide himself around unknown areas. For transport he uses a specialized taxi service or his tandem. He likes to cycle on this tandem with his wife or trainer. Jan has been married for 20 years to his wife Yvonne. They live together in Naarden. Yvonne is sighted and takes care of the groceries and helps Jan where needed. Besides cycling on the tandem, Jan and his trainer do a lot of sports and fun activities together. Their favourite activity is running. They run side by side with a rope between them. The rope is not ideal, but it is commonly used by blind people who run. There is actually a large community of blind people who run in that manner. Jan is part of a dependance of this community. Once every two weeks people from this dependance gather and go for a longer run together. Afterwards they often have a cup of coffee together.


Project Designing for Specific Users


This web-portofolio is part of the project ‘Designing for Specific Users’ of the bachelor Industrial Design Engineering at the University of Twente. The goal of this project is to set up and manage a human-centred design project. Students should eventually develop a new product conceptwhich focusses on a specific user group, in this case: visually impaired users. The design should be done in co-design throughout the entire project. By the end of the projec the students should have designed a new product concept that is meaningful and usable for the intended user.

Project Designing for Specific Users
uni project


Running blind wants to improve the physical and mental condition of people with a visual impairment. Running blind helps a runner and a buddy to find each other. Registered runners and buddies are listed by name and city, so that it is quickly clear whether someone near you would like to run together. In this way the community makes running more accessible for people with a visual impairment. The community also organises running competitions and training courses. The running blind community is a non-profit organization and lives off on donations.

running blind
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