UserFeel complements design practice and education with somatic learning. Focus lies on the motor-sensory functioning of the User. The method helps build true empathy with the end user.
UserFeel makes more understandable how users feel from interacting with a designed object or space. It trains somatic movement in the context of user-centred design. Since movement is a fundamental aspect of every human interaction—whether with objects, spaces, or services— you, may you be a designer or an architect who creates solutions for other people – need to know how movement intertwines with sensing, emotions, thinking. Because, how your user perceives and appreciates and judges what you have created will ultimately depend upon their movements.
UserFeel transmits practical, comprehensive knowledge about human functioning through experiential workshops. These workshops foster systematic exploration of movement and train sensory motor awareness. They enable a deeper, self-experienced comprehension of human motion within its context, surpassing the realm of ergonomics.
The UserFeel workshops cover two main areas:
1)Understanding Personal Movement:
How do my habits and preferences influence how I comprehend movement of others?
By becoming aware of your own idiosyncrasies, you identify personal patterns within yourself which may limit your own understanding of other people’s capabilities, habits, or problems. You will become more alert and develop more acute observation skills.
How do users’ movement patterns influence their perception of my design?
By nurturing an unbiased appreciation for your own, unique movement patterns it becomes easier to accept and understand how others naturally differ from you in movement, sensation and feeling. When working in a group environment you can directly witness how and how significantly the other participants diverge in the way they understand and perform movement. This makes it easy to develop genuine empathy and understanding for (the movements of) other people.
Schedule a call to know how UserFeel workshops can help your students or team.
From 2018 to 2022, I worked with Dirk Loyens, who holds a PhD in Architecture and teaches Product Design in Portugal. Together, we integrated the Feldenkrais method into the curriculum for second-year Master’s students in product design. Tailoring the Feldenkrais method to the context of design education became UserFeel. Through this research, we established a structured UserFeel workshop program that showed clear learning outcomes for product design students.
Our work has been documented in a research article that is awaiting publication. The summarized details of our work can be found in the poster below:
Poster of UserFeel method elaboration: link/pop-up window
Poster Design: Vitor Quelhas