DIY is a popular activity among those of retirement age, but domestic power tools are designed without taking into account the physical impairments resulting from the ageing process. Through a close partnership with the UK’s largest home improvement retailer B&Q and a user-centred research centre, the Helen Hamlyn Centre (HHC), the design consultant Matthew White was able to develop a series of easy-to-use DIY power tools.
With intensive input from older users, four new or improved power tools were developed. The prototypes received positive feedback from both users and the industry partner. The cordless screwdriver and the palm-sized sander − two of the new designs − were taken to market. This case study demonstrates that retailers can drive consumer product development from within and a study of older users can help generate viable inclusive solutions.
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Do It Yourself (DIY), older consumers, power tools, inclusive design, user-centred design, retailers, user testing