Connectivity by Design: A Holistic Model of Human Connectivity for a Happier, Healthier and more Innovative World.

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Design Engineering

Abstract

This research seeks to shift the focus from a descriptive explanation of our need to connect to a prescriptive approach to improve the process of connecting. Specifically, the central objective of this research is to develop a toolkit or set of design principles that, when applied to the design of experiences (and potentially products, services and processes), will consistently result in better human connectivity outcomes. In order to achieve this objective, we must better understand what is and isn't working in the context of how people are currently connecting as well as the real and perceived barriers to human connectivity.

Research objective
The objective of this research is to develop a toolkit or set of design principles that, when applied to the design of experiences (and potentially products, services and processes), consistently lead to improved human connectivity outcomes.

Overarching research question:
What are the barriers to human connectivity and how might these barriers be effectively addressed through human-centred design?

Sub-questions:
a) What are the barriers to human connectivity?
b) Are barriers consistent across personal and professional contexts?
c) What design interventions are most effective at overcoming these barriers?
d) How can people be helped to develop a connection-ready mindset?
e) How can human connectivity be measured?
f) What are the facilitators of connectivity and how might these be designed into experiences?
g) To what extent are the identified design principles generalisable to products, services and processes?


The overall methodology that will guide this research is the Design Research Methodology (DRM). This involves a series of descriptive and presctiptive studies common to HCI. These studies will use mixed methods combined with various prototypes to text hypotheses and improve human connectivity outcomes.

Work carried out to date includes a short paper submitted for consideration to the editors of the Design Science Research department of the Journal of Operations Management and an abstract submitted for consideration at the Healthy City Design Conference, 2018.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2015822 Studentship EP/N509486/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2021 Peter Alex Mandeno
 
Description The process of human connectivity has been discovered to consist of five unique phases. Within the first phase of human connectivity, five distinct strategies were uncovered. Additionally, 17 barriers to human connectivity have been identified. This added level of nuance and increased depth of understanding enables designers to more accurately target their design efforts and improve outcomes. This research has contributed to the creation of a new design framework called setting driven design.
Exploitation Route The outcomes of this research will have far reaching implications for further academic/design research and for industry.
A future research agenda will be one of the key outcomes of this research.
Additionally, the frameworks, guidelines and increased level of nuance will aid practitioners in creating more effective solutions to address human connectivity challenges in most industries.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Other

 
Description The findings of the research are being applied for the improvement of human connectivity outcomes at a major global industry conference. At a strategic level, this has elevated the perceived importance of human connectivity in improving the overall experience and wellbeing of participants. At a tactical level, the research has provided actionable insights that are improving the design of the experience. The findings have also been used as the basis for a talk at a major global design conference as well as an upcoming innovation conference.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Research and design collaboration with C2 
Organisation C2 Montréal
Country Canada 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution C2 is a market leading business conference that takes place in Montreal, Canada every May. C2 served as the setting for a first round of descriptive data collection in 2019. In 2020 this collaboration has deepened and insights from the research have informed how the C2 experience is redesigned with a sharper focus on improving human connectivity outcomes. A second round of studies will take place at the 2020 edition of the conference. Contributions have been made at three key levels. 1. Strategy: the designers and organisers of this conference have changed their perspective as it relates to human connectivity. 2. Guidance: tools and frameworks created as a result of this research have been applied to the redesign of the conference 3. Design: Specific interventions were suggested that will be implemented in the redesigned conference.
Collaborator Contribution The primary contribution by the partner has been access to a data-rich setting for data collection (the conference).
Impact As well as the data collected as a result of this collaboration, the outcomes may be summarised as research contributions: 1. Strategy: the designers and organisers of this conference have changed their perspective as it relates to human connectivity. 2. Guidance: tools and frameworks created as a result of this research have been applied to the redesign of the conference 3. Design: Specific interventions were suggested that will be implemented in the redesigned conference.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Presentation at IASDR Conference - Manchester 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The paper "Design for human connectivity: A framework and research agenda" was presented at the IASDR conference in Manchester. The theme of IASDR was DESIGN REVOLUTIONS which explored how design drives and responds to revolutionary thinking through questioning the norm, probing the now and embracing the new. The conference was attended by approximately 500 - 700 people, mostly from the fields of design and design research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk at IxDA 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A 20 minute talk was delivered at the IxDA conference in Milan in February 2020. This talk was based on key insights derived from the research. Approximately 300 people attended the talk and the total conference audience was approximately 1,500. The audience of IxDA was global and a mixture of industry, designers and researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020