Title page for ETD etd-06072012-204353

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Gausepohl, Kimberly Ann
URN etd-06072012-204353
Title The Storytelling + Design Framework: Design Guidance for the Concept Phase of Medical Device Design
Degree PhD
Department Industrial and Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Winchester, Woodrow W. III Committee Chair
Arthur, James D. Committee Member
Kleiner, Brian M. Committee Member
Smith-Jackson, Tonya L. Committee Member
  • knowledge elicitation
  • narrative inquiry
  • needs analysis
Date of Defense 2002-05-25
Availability restricted
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) “Prevention

through Design” (PtD) initiative encourages the exploration of different methods to

foster dialogue between engineers and healthcare workers. Although engineers are

encouraged to follow a user-centered design (UCD) process to identify user needs

(ANSI/AAMI, 2009; IEC, 2007), NORA (2009) warns that engineers may “fail to get the

full range of healthcare worker input on the usability of a device”. The primary goal of

this research was to present storytelling as an elicitation method that addressed the PtD

call for methods that improve usability within healthcare.

This work provides three contributions to the PtD initiative. First, a conceptual model for

the role of storytelling in design, which represents a synthesis of narrative and design

research, is presented. The conceptual model explicitly states how the elicitation and

analysis of stories results in the identification of a design opportunity that addresses user

needs. Second, the Design + Storytelling framework, which guides designers’ use of

storytelling, is presented. An instantiation of the framework specific to the identification

of a design opportunity within an emergency room (ER) is investigated to determine the

framework’s impact on design. Findings resulted in the study’s third contribution:

design guidance comprised of storytelling guidelines, decision support tools for

storytelling method selection, and traceability support for design evaluation.

The investigation of the framework focused on two primary stages: (1) story elicitation

and (2) story analysis. Storytelling sessions, which varied in context, collected 573

stories (i.e., 441 habitual, 132 hypothetical) from 28 ER nurses. Qualitative analysts used

the framework’s instructions to identify and specify 383 user needs within the narratives.

Empirical comparisons of the compiled needs across groups informed decision rules for

elicitation method selection. The impact of the framework’s analysis instructions during

design practice was investigated. Student design teams analyzed nurses’ safety stories to

create a conceptual design for an identified design opportunity. Findings indicated a

trend for stakeholder experts to rank conceptual designs created by teams with the

instructions as more usable than teams without the framework’s instructions. The

theoretical and practical exploration indicated a positive impact on design.

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