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User centred design and validation during the development of domestic brain computer interface applications for people with acquired brain injury and therapists: a multi-stakeholder approach

Jean Mary Daly Lynn (The Cedar Foundation, Belfast, UK)
Elaine Armstrong (The Cedar Foundation, Ballymena, UK)
Suzanne Martin (School of Health Sciences, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)

Journal of Assistive Technologies

ISSN: 1754-9450

Article publication date: 20 June 2016

Issue publication date: 20 June 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline the application of user centred design (UCD) within a research project to support the design, development and evaluation of a brain computer interface (BCI) with associated home-based services and remote therapy station for people with acquired brain injury (ABI).

Design/methodology/approach

A multi- stakeholder UCD approach was adopted to include people living with ABI, their caregivers and therapists providing rehabilitation. A three-phased iterative approach was implemented: Phase 1 was to gather user requirements, Phase 2 an iterative design phase with end user (EU) groups and therapists and finally the verification and implementation phase. The final phase had two strands of a home-based BCI evaluation with target EUs and their caregivers, alongside this, therapists evaluated the final therapist station that supports the use of the BCI at home. Ethical governance, inline with Ulster University, was awarded.

Findings

UCD enabled the co-creation and validation of a home-based BCI system for social inclusion and rehabilitation.

Originality/value

This was the first BCI project to adopt UCD to design and validation a novel home-based BCI system and migrate this from the lab to home. It highlights the importance of UCD to bridge the gap between the technical developers and those whom the technology is aimed at. This complex design process is essential to increase usability and reduce device abandonment.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s, Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013, BackHome Project Grant Agreement No. 288566”. The authors would like to thank all the project partners that contributed to each phase of this work.

Citation

Daly Lynn, J.M., Armstrong, E. and Martin, S. (2016), "User centred design and validation during the development of domestic brain computer interface applications for people with acquired brain injury and therapists: a multi-stakeholder approach", Journal of Assistive Technologies, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 67-78. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAT-01-2016-0002

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited