The impact of applying participatory design methods in an industry 4.0 environment

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Sammanfattning: Industry 4.0 (I4.0) productions are complex environments driven by production data to make informed decisions affecting the events and items on the production line. This complexity can have a negative effect on the factory workers’ adoption rate of the new technology. More specifically, it can lead to the factory workers feeling passive and lacking influence over the tools used. Therefore, new UX methods and increased UX maturity are called for, to better suit the ever changing environments of I4.0 organizations. To ensure adoption, positive attitudes and intentions regarding user ownership, expertise and knowledge sharing are required. In this thesis project, participatory design (PD) methods are used to evaluate, whether PD has a positive effect on such attitudes and intentions toward new tools introduced on the production line. Five participants, employees from the I4.0 company Northvolt, were recruited to take part in a PD workshop to design a human-machine interface (HMI). The participants attitudes and intentions towards the tool were measured and explored through the PD workshop, surveys and user interviews. The outcome was also compared to the survey results on the tools already in use on the production line. The study resulted in increased positive attitudes and intentions towards user ownership, knowledge sharing and expertise concerning the HMI. Thus, the application of PD in I4.0 environments had an overall positive impact. Researchers are called to assess these effects in the long term, by allowing the participants to use the tool in a practical context overtime. 

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