Wearable technology design for autism spectrum disorders

Sumin Helen Koo, Kim Gaul, Susan Rivera, Tingrui Pan, Dan Fong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background Wearable technologies have the potential to increase the quality of life and wellness for individuals with ASD and their families. However, there is a lack of research on WT for ASD and no research on understanding users. Thus, this interdisciplinary research was conducted to understand important design factors and preferred functions and design attributes for WT for ASD to guide the design process in the early-stages, and to develop and evaluate a WT prototype for ASD. Methods Individuals with ASD and their parents who are the potential users were recruited through purposive sampling. The data were analyzed through color-coding, major theme extraction, descriptive analysis, and a series of Welch's t-tests. A prototype was developed and evaluated based on the defined preferred functions and design attributes and design factors. Results First, the results about demographic backgrounds, prevalent symptoms, challenges in daily life, and user experiences related to WT were defined. Second, 12 important design factors of WT for ASD were identified. Third, individuals with ASD and their parents' preferred WT aspects on item types, functions, and design attributes, expected use frequency, use occasion, and data notification were identified. Lastly, a prototype was developed based on the results and evaluated for the future development of WT for ASD. Second, two groups were categorized according to the type of YOLO-disposition (high or low). Third, a well-being lifestyle based on a disposition type showed some significant differences in terms of both mental and physical health. Consumption value showed some significant differences in terms of differentiated value and social value. Conclusions The results are expected to help designersin the development process of WT for ASD and ultimately benefit individuals with ASD and their families and caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-55
Number of pages19
JournalArchives of Design Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Konkuk University in 2017 and the University of California, Davis Research Fund.

Publisher Copyright:
© Archives of Design Research.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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