Cynthia Jih, OTD, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist, MedStar National Rehabilitation Network
Cynthia Jih (she/her) earned her doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University, Center City campus in May 2021, completing a capstone project with undergraduate and graduate design students from Thomas Jefferson University, East Fall campus. She earned her BS in Business Management from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2017.
Understanding the User in Design
Rapid Fire Session
Wed - Sept. 22
4:15 pm EDT
Inclusive design uses the understanding of diversity in populations to create products that are accessible and usable by as many people as reasonably possible. Collaboration with interdisciplinary professionals and the users of the design products or environments are crucial partners in the inclusive design process to better understand design goals, criteria and needs, streamline the design process, and improve outcomes. A 15-week experience demonstrated the benefits and areas of friction in the design process through a collaborative design project with visual communication design students, occupational therapy doctoral students, and an organization serving individuals with intellectual disability. The design project aimed to increase engagement and participation in the cooking process for adults with intellectual disability through the creation of an accessible cookbook and user testing of prototypes to improve functionality of future iterations. Lessons learned from the experience are discussed to inform future design collaborations with users and professionals from different disciplines.