My research centers around how the design of products and services influences people’s behaviour and motivation. Design influences in many ways and can offer innovative and effective ways to address the myriad of challenges that our society currently faces. Most of the projects I contribute to are aimed at supporting people to make positive changes in their physical or mental health: Design for Healthy behaviour. The different topics within this domain relate to the often used categorisation in healthcare of primary prevention (health promotion), secondary prevention (treatment) and tertiary prevention (management of disease).  Download research overview.

My research is organised in larger and smaller projects many of which are collaborations with researchers from other disciplines and with industry partners. I strongly believe that we will need these types of collaborations to design the future.

Current projects

MinD – Designing for people with dementia

Our group is partner in the MinD project that will be funded from the EU Horizon2020 research and innovation programme and that will run from March 2016 to March 2020. The project is led by dr. Niedderer, (University of Wolverhampton) and has a consortium with both academic and health partners. More information is on the project’s webpage.

Nature inspired design

We recently started this project as part of the Tech4People program of the University of Twente. The project combines behavioral sciences (Psychology and Communication Science – dr. Thomas van Rompay), (multi-sensory) product design, and human-computer interaction (Gijs Huisman). It also includes a cooperation with KAIST in South-Korea (dr. Daniel Saakes). The projects aims to investigate how designers can translate the beneficial effects that nature can have on people’s wellbeing to designed artefacts, thus providing access to nature when nature is not around or when it is not feasible to bring nature inside.

Prominence of public sector messages in the buzz of the digital age

Another project that is part of the Tech4people program of the University of Twente. This project aims to create an eco-system of end-user notification services that improves the prominence of important public sector messages for users. That eco-system must deal with the complexity of ever-changing media, and the proliferation of devices, technologies, interfaces and usages. The project brings together communication sciences (prof. dr. Wolfgang Ebbers), public administration (prof. dr. Rene Torenvlied) and interaction design. Julia Lange is a PhD student in this project.

Edited book: Design for Behaviour Change

I am co-editor of a book (with prof. dr. Kristina Niedderer and dr. Stephen Clune) that brings together theories, methods, tools and case studies on Design for Behaviour Change. The book was published by Routledge in September 2017 as part of the ‘Design for responsibility’ series.


Current student projects

Development of a product or service to support lifestyle changes.

Master project in Industrial Design Engineering (Human Technology Relations track) by Michael Delhaye in collaboration with Tasty Basics:
The aim of the project is to develop a supporting tool (product or service or a combination thereof) that people following the TastyBasics lifestyle change programme can use during the programme to set their personal goals and that they can use after the TastyBasics programme as a motivation to retain the lifestyle changes that they have learned.


What is the role of light in people’s well-being in 5 years from now?”

Master project in Industrial Design Engineering (Human Technology Relations track) by Merlijn Smits in collaboration with Philips Design Lighting. Merlijn will study how people could be made more conscious of the benefits of light for their health and  wellbeing and how light could support people to feel healthier/better.  Her project will result in project proposals for the home environment.


Past projects

Grey but Mobile 
PhD project Rick Schotman  – Product service systems in the domain of mobility for elderly; design and acceptance. This project was part of the CRISP project Grey but mobile.

PhD project Daphne Karreman – The development of personality and behavior of a Fun Robotic Outdoor Guide. This project was part of the FP7 FROG project. Daphne has successfully defended her thesis on September 14th 2016.

Creating sustainable innovation through design for behaviour change
I was an international co-investigator within the project ‘Creating Sustainable Innovation through Design for Behaviour Change’ funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)in the UK This project was led by dr. Niedderer, (University of Wolverhampton), other co-investigators are dr. Lockton (Royal College of Art), dr. Cain (University of Warwick), dr. Morris (Loughborough University) and dr. Clune (Lancaster University). In 2016, a paper was published in The International Journal of Design that (partly) describes the results of this project.


Past student projects (selection)

How can a design with nature approach positively influence wellbeing at work?
Design research master project (2016) by Linda Meekhof .

EnLightEn people with severe intellectual disabilities.
Master project (2016) by Rosanne Andriessen in cooperation with Philips Research.

Human centered design of medical devices – Master project (2015) by Minke Dijkstra in cooperation with the Design Innovation Research Centre at the University of Technology Sydney and ide Group.

Design of a lighting application that can support the treatment of a chosen form of mental disorders to be used in outer-patient care. – Master project (2014) by Anika Siepel in cooperation with Philips.

The design of a series of products that support people in different phases of a process of behavioral change – Capita Selecta (2015) by Marleen Offringa.