| Project Portfolio

I have always enjoyed combining design and research knowledge for exploring user experience parameters, which require a deep understanding of the user and context. My experience covers user and design research on home appliances and automotive products design and evaluation. At METU-BILTIR/UTEST I involved in academic and industry projects both in the lab and real-use context. Working as a researcher at the intersection of two worlds, I blended knowledge and experience from both domains to develop realistic design solutions based on scientific grounds.

With my PhD studies, I expanded my knowledge over participatory methods and multi-stkeholder involvement in the design process. I utilised research through design approach for exploring complex design situations.

Below is an annotated portfolio of the projects that I involved.

USABILITY ANALYSIS AND INTERFACE DESIGN

Interface Design with Expert Evaluation for Dishwashers

ARÇELIK A.S. Ankara – Dishwasher Division | 2008

The alphanumeric screen-based dishwasher interface was evaluated with expert analysis to provide solutions to usability problems. The product was at the late development stage, so we developed design recommendations without changing the screen layout. We prototyped the entire interface with computer based animations. I was responsible with defining and classifying usability problems, developing design recommendations and preparing prototypes of the proposals on Adobe Photoshop and MS Powerpoint.

Interface Design for Two Arçelik Dishwasher Models Based on Product Concepts

ARÇELIK A.S. Ankara Dishwasher Division | 2005

Based on the firm’s marketing objectives, design alternatives for the ‘single button’ dishwasher interface concept were developed. Two interface alternatives, which differed in functionality and interface elements, were proposed for upper and lower market segments. The meaning of ‘single button’ concept was examined at the initial stage and the functional specifications for both models were defined. Cognitive walk-through was used as a method to develop functional flow diagrams and the resulting interface alternatives were modeled in detail. I was a part of the expert review and developed design recommendations based on usability criteria.

Usability Analysis with Expert Evaluation

ARÇELIK A.S. Ankara Dishwasher Division | 2005

The project aimed to solve usability problems of a dishwasher interface which had been on production. In the initial phase, user complaints were evaluated. Then the interface algorithm and the consistency among the product family were examined to come up with low-cost improvements on the interface. I involved in the expert review, developed design recommendations for user manual card design and icon & serigraphy design.

User Expectations Analysis and Usability Testing with Benchmarking

ARÇELIK A.S. Ankara Dishwasher Division | 2004

An alphanumeric screen-based dishwasher model, Arçelik Ecologist, was evaluated based on usability criteria and user requirements, by a comparative study with two competing brands’ models. The study comprised of usability tests, motion analysis to explore perceived quality in the first impression, user requirements questionnaires and focus group studies to develop long-lasting design guidelines. In the project I was responsible with interviewing with the test participants, moderating user tests, conducting user requirements analysis and reporting of the test process, methodology and outcomes

Usability Testing and User Requirements Analysis of an Oven Interface

TEBA A.S. Oven Division [Project partners: TUDelft/Witlab, Lougborough Univ./HUSAT ] | 2003

In the context of the EU supported “Product Safety and Usability Testing Project” a screen-based intelligent oven interface in an early design phase was evaluated by a joint study with Loughborough University from UK, and TUDelft from the Netherlands. Cultural differences that may affect oven use were explored by first conducting on-site interviews to examine the diversity in contextual factors and user requirements. Then the interface prototype was evaluated with expert analysis and usability tests in three countries. My responsibilities in the project included questionnaire design, use context research about kitchen and oven use and documentation/reporting of the research outcomes.

USER REQUIREMENTS ANALYSIS & CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH

User Acceptance Model Development & Contextual Research for New Product Concepts

ARÇELIK | 2010

User Requirements Analysis & Contextual Research for Dishwasher Rack Design

ARÇELIK A.S., Ankara Dishwasher Division | 2007

The project objective was to develop a dishwasher rack design that conforms to user requirements and preferences. It was a successfully conducted user-centered design process which combined several research methods.

In the first phase, dishwasher rack usage was explored with user interviews based on the photographs of users’ own dishwasher rack usage. Users evaluated competing brands’ rack designs in a detailed way using a structured interview derived from the Repertory Grid Technique.  Then the lab study findings were evaluated with an online questionnaire. The results of these multiple studies were re-examined together to develop a model that explains the critical relationships and variables. Based on this model, design recommendations were developed and classified in terms of core concepts such as cost and flexibility.

I took various responsibilities at each stage of the project, including market research, contextual research developing the interview technique based on RGT, interviewing with users and active observation, developing design recommendations and visual presentation of the design recommendations to the client.

User Requirements Analysis & Usability Testing of a Washing Machine Interface through Benchmarking

ARÇELIK A.S. Istanbul – Tuzla Washing Machine Division | 2006

The project aimed to develop design guidelines and novel interface concepts for the screen-based washing machine interfaces. The study started with a benchmarking and usability study that compares the product and competing models’ interfaces with user participation. The products were evaluated in terms of usability and usefulness, as well as perceived quality measures at the first impression. In addition to this core study, general information regarding usage and usefulness of product functions was gathered with questionnaire and interviews. This information was further supported with a large-sample questionnaire on user preferences and requirements related to product use. My responsibilities were interviewing with the test participants, moderating user tests, defining usability problems and user requirements and reporting the findings.

Multi-National Contextual Research to Explore Cultural Differences for Oven Use TEBA  Oven Division | 2003

PERCEIVED QUALITY  & USER REQUIREMENTS RESEARCH FOR AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN

Perceived Quality Evaluation for Midibus Design

TEMSA A.S | 2008

The aim of the project was to develop design guidelines that would lead the firm for the midi-bus interior and exterior design. The relationships between the perceived quality variables and product components were defined and their effects on the user evaluation criteria were explained. Two complementary methods were used in the study. In the first phase, the midi-bus model was evaluated with two competing brands’ models with a comparative lab study based on driver and passenger examinations. The dominant constructs regarding perceived quality and the main product components that affect user preferences classified by this way. The second phase was composed of developing an information system that would represent the findings and relationships to designers, in a way to be integrated in the design process. Therefore the main emphasis was on modeling the complex relationships between the product components and perceived quality dimensions, with clear representations and visuals. It was a long-lasting and engaging project for 8 months.

I was involved at each stage, for designing the research methodology and user studies, test planning, moderating user studies, organizing the test sessions and analyzing the findings, transcription of results, developing the design recommendations and visualization of the research outcomes which was presented as an interactive CD database.

Determinants of Perceived Quality for Minivan Interior – Design Evaluation & User Research

TOFAS / FIAT TURKEY | 2006

The project aimed to define the specifications for the mini-van interior to increase the added-value for the consumer market. For this purpose, a  perceived quality model for mini-van interiors was developed. In the first phase, the customer evaluations were observed at the purchase points through video camera installations and user interviews. The purchase criteria and related important car interior elements which affect the product’s first impact were classified in this way. In the second and core phase, the product was evaluated with a comparative study with two competing models with users at the lab environment, and the dominant product elements and assessment criteria were explored. A complementary eye-tracking study on 2-D images revealed more in-depth information about the user assessment process. At the final stage, the findings of the multiple methods were combined to develop design principles. I was responsible in the use context research, questionnaire and interview design and implementation, test moderation, analysis of the findings and reporting the outcomes.

User Requirements Analysis and Problem Specification for City Buses

TEMSA A.S. | 2007

The project aimed to reveal the problem areas regarding bus design to define the requirements for prospective studies. The first phase included a detailed comparative evaluation of the product with two competing models based on anthropometric dimensions, visibility, ergonomic qualities, control panel design, safety and passenger comfort. This study was followed by a context research including interviews with the drivers and passengers on user requirements, expectations and problems as well as other contextual factors. Passenger and driver activities were further observed through installed video cameras in the buses during regular use period. In addition to this structured research, informal on-site observation and photo-documentation studies provided supportive information on the contextual factors during this phase. At the next step, defined problem areas were aimed to be verified and explored in detail through a large-sample questionnaire with city bus drivers. Based on the research outcome, the problem areas were defined and exemplified according to product type, contextual factors and perceived quality dimensions. An initial set of recommendations were developed for future studies and design improvements. My responsibilities were designing and conducting user studies, carrying out contextual studies, on-site documentation and making analysis of the context findings.

ACADEMIC RESEARCH PROJECTS

Establishment of Product Safety and Usability Laboratory

Funded by State Planning Organization | 2002-2004

Research on the laboratory equipment, usability testing associations and their activities, usability standards. Project size: Approx. 500.000$

Product Safety and Usability Testing

EU 6th Framework “Bridges of Knowledge” Program | 2002 – 2004

Researcher responsible from database development, content design and user research, in the various ctivities within the project. Project size: Approx. 2 billion €. Project Partners: METU (Turkey) -TUDelft (The Netherlands) – Loughborough (United Kingdom)

Consumer Rights and Protection in Turkey: METU/BILTIR UTEST Product Usability Unit – Consumer Associations Workshop

EU 6th Framework “Bridges of Knowledge” Program | 2002 – 2004

Research on the workshop content and and workshop organization

Consumer Product Accidents for Home Appliances Database and “Electrical Home Appliances Accident Database CD”

EU 6th Framework “Bridges of Knowledge” Program | 2002 – 2004

Content development for an interactive CD based on the accident records. The electrical home appliance accident records on the international databases (from UK, US and The Netherlands) and academic publications on product safety were examined to develop an accident database. The incidents were grouped according to the appliance type, incident type and user group; and specific accident scenarios were developed. The content was presented in the form of an interactive CD to increase the awareness in consumers and home appliance industry.

CONTENT DESIGN

UTEST Website

Visual, Database and Content Design | 2010

Developed the Drupal-based content management system, web-site design and the Turkish and English content of the site. Available at www.utest.metu.edu.tr

E-NOCTA  Distant Learning Services

www.enocta.com | Part Time 2004 – 2005

Worked as a content developer and Scenario designer at the online education projects