Human Centred Design Group

Make it. Better.

The Human Centred Design group is focused on developing and implementing methods and practices for the design of objects, environments and systems for human use. It has a design and active focus on developing projects in collaboration with people via cycles of prototyping and evaluation. 

Our Focus

  • We are focused on working with industry and researchers to investigate, develop, trial and implement products and environments that improve people’s experiences.
  • Trans-disciplinary and collaborative approaches for working in conjunction with allied professionals such as psychologists, ergonomists and engineers.
  • Collaboration with other discipline areas, such as heath, to develop a human centred understanding of problems and the development of solutions.
  • Design synthesis methods to integrate a wide range of factors to develop and implement products for human use to provide a unique and valuable contribution to the design of technology for human use.

Nurse Call Pendant

Nurse Call Pendant for Hills Industries

Bone Hole Depth Gauge

Bone Depth Gauge

About Us

Our goal is to work with industry and clients to develop and implement human centred design processes, methods so we can create, prototype and develop new products systems and environments to meet the needs of the end users.

Past projects include the design of a Nurse Call Pendant for Hills Industries to improve their design for people with limited hand dexterity in aged care facilities. The project was led by Sandy Walker and Peter Schumacher working with Masters of Design (Industrial Design) graduates Daniel Weiss and Robert White. By working closely with end users and using 3d printing to develop and evaluate multiple iterations we developed a unique device based on an air bladder that enabled multiple easy ways to activate the device. The design has won multiple national and international design awards including the prestigious Red Dot award and the South Australian Premiers Design award in 2015.

We have engaged in course work Masters Projects with a variety of external clients to develop unique products. These include the design of bags for nurses making home calls, telemedicine apparatus, outdoor furniture, wood combustion heaters, air purifying products and surgical instruments. All projects are linked by the use of human centred design methods to produce tangible outcomes.

One of these projects by John Nicholl, the development of a bone hole depth gauge was developed for orthopaedic surgeons. The gauge enables easy one handed operation and high visibility of the depth dimensions when measuring the depth of holes in bones for the selection of the correct sizes screws for attaching plates. The design focused on the needs of the surgeon to enable fast and effective use. The design won the South Australian Premiers Design award in 2017.

We are currently engaged with the Defence Science and Technology Group to develop a human-centred design and assurance methodology for future submarine internal spaces. This involves extensive background research, literature reviews, site visits and engagement with active submariners to understand the work and physical environment on board submarines. The outcome will be recommendations for the design of sleeping biters to improve the quality of their rest, relaxation and sleep to reduce fatigue.