|M.Sc Student||Yigal Steiner|
|Subject||Study of Do-it-Yourself Products Designed for Residential|
Environment in View of their User Friendliness
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Dr. Karni Eyal|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
In this research, the term "Do-It-Yourself " (DIY) applies to products designed for assembly by the end user. The product is packed unassembled and the physical and mental interaction with it occurs when the buyer opens the box.
The most common definition for the term "User Friendly" is the ease with which one can perform a defined task efficiently and safely. The result achieved after the assembly is influenced by the actions taken by the assembler, therefore, it is highly important that the product has characteristics which enable the assembler to understand correctly the manufacturer’s intentions and the assembly process.
Self-assembly products for the outdoor environment are intended for the general population and are not distinguished according to degrees of complexity or level of difficulty in the assembly process. Various studies found that people with spatial vision, technical aptitude, or previous experience in the assembly of products, deal more easily with the assembly tasks.
The study goal is to identify and distinguish the factors that transform residential environment DIY products into “user friendly” products.
It contains the following stages:
· Based on the literature survey and random assembly trials of various products documented by verbal protocol, a list of “user friendly” characteristics was identified.
· Several products were selected - for each assembly manual, connectors and the assembly procedure were analyzed in accordance with the defined “user friendly” characteristics.
· Based on their analysis a summary table was prepared, presenting the cognitive, physical and engineering aspects and qualities that best implement the "user friendly" characteristics.
· There are several reasons for buying a DIY product. Therefore, there is no direct correlation between its purchasing and the capabilities of the buyer for success in assembling.
· In terms of characteristics of the assembler, the most influential variable is previous experience in similar tasks.
· Products in which the task of connecting components is based on mental models kept in long term memory--where the design implements mechanical and psychological constraints, and the act of connecting parts provides quality feedback, the importance of assembly instruction is lessened.
· Products based on 'quick connectors' like snap lockers, have a clear advantage in speed of assembly, compared with other products.
· Assembly of screw-based products is easier to perform by assemblers lacking technical aptitude, since the cognitive load caused by information processing is lower compared to products using other connecting methods.