Designers can involve users in the design process. The challenge lies in reaching multiple users and finding the best way to use their input in the design process. Affordance based design (ABD) is a design method that focuses in part on the perceived or existing interactions between the user and the artifact. The shape and physical characteristics of the product enable the user to perceive some of its affordances. The goal of this research is to use ABD, along with an optimization tool, to evolve the shape of products toward better perceived solutions using the input from users. A web application has been developed that evolves design concepts using an interactive multi-objective genetic algorithm (IGA) relying on the user assessment of product affordances. As a proof of concept, a steering wheel is designed using the application by having users rate specific affordances of solutions presented to them. The results show that the design concepts evolve toward better perceived solutions, allowing designers to explore more solutions that reflect the preferences of end users. Relationships between affordances and product design variables are also explored, revealing that specific affordances can be targeted with changes in design parameter values and highlighting the tie between physical characteristics and affordances.
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