Year Three of Elucidating Human Needs: IT-Designs for the Whole Body

PI: Dr. Julia von Thienen


Human needs are a central concept in design thinking, which we have elucidated in two previous research years. Here, we have identified regular shortcomings of IT-designs, and want to help fill this gap with three lines of development in a concluding research year. (I) Automated Measurement and Feedback. We want to quantify, to what extent innovation teams address human needs in their project over time. For this purpose, we have begun to develop a tool that automatically quantifies considerations of human needs in the team’s project documentation, screening a number of different need categories. This tool shall be further developed, to provide comprehensive metrics and automated feedback regarding the overall attention towards human needs, and need-domains that are considered carefully vs. blind-spots. (II) Motion to Enhance Creativity and Collaboration.

While research consistently shows the importance of body movement for creativity and successful team collaboration, many ITdesigns for remote work – such as video conferencing systems – immobilize users. In pilot experiments, we have found a strong, positive impact of movement interventions on objective measures of creativity and team performance. We want to re-design

input devices for remote work, so as to stimulate more motion and thereby enhance creative collaboration online. (III) Sonic Thinking – Encountering Others Through Sound. Sound is a good medium for conveying emotions, and to facilitate real-time synchronization processes in teams. Audio-technology already enables some remote collaboration experiences that video cannot, e.g., it can sound as though your remote collaboration partner was really with you, while a video does not make it look as though the person was really with you. We want to explore several routes for enhanced remote collaboration by making good use of the possibilities of available audio-technology.


Shama Rahman, Nicolas D’Aleman Arango, Kim-Pascal Borchart, Corinna Jaschek, Henrik von Coler, Marisol Jimenez