Steve is a product designer with 23 years of professional experience in industry and academia. He has designed or product managed around 50 products to market and has published around 70 peer reviewed outputs. He is currently co-writing a book with Prof. Alan Dix of Birmingham University to be published in 2017 by Oxford University Press called Touch IT. The book came out of the DEPtH: Designing for Physicality project, a research council funded collaboration with University of Lancaster. Steve is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the Design Research Society.
Steve heads Cardiff Met’s User Centred Design Research (UCD-R) group, the roots of which lie in CSAD’s Programme for Advanced Interactive Prototype Research (PAIPR). PAIPR was established by Steve and Gareth Loudon in 2001 to investigate methods for the rapid design and development of computer embedded products such as mobile phones and medical devices. Meanwhile, the National Centre for Product Design & Development Research (PDR) had been examining the effective implementation of UCD processes within commercial practice.
UCD-R brings together these two strands in a cross-unit collaboration. While computer embedded devices remain a major interest, UCD-R has further interests connected to the importance of the prototype as a focus around which ethnographical research methods can be deployed in design praxis, for example in the design development process for prosthetic limbs. The group places a great deal of emphasis on the applied, and works on the development of UCD tools and process. They have worked closely with blue chip companies such as Samsung and Kenwood, and many of the techniques developed through the group’s research are deployed directly in commercial design projects through PDR’s commercial UCD offering.
Steve is an applied researcher. As well as heading UCD-R (see above), he works closely with Prof. Judith Hall from Cardiff University Medical School and Dr. Clara Watkins on the development of low cost life-saving medical products. Steve is a founder member and Operational Chair of the Wales Institute of Research in Art & Design (WIRAD). Over the years his research interests have become diverse, leading him to supervise PhDs in areas as diverse as Re-configurable tooling, Thermography, Design, Experiential Vision and Ceramics. His core interests lie in human-centred design, life critical product design, physicality, rapid prototyping of computer embedded products and interaction design. A common theme in them all is a desire to place people at the heart of research aimed at creating ‘real world’ impact.