Effective use of storyboarding as a co-design method to enhance power assisted exercise equipment for people with stroke

Rachel Young, Karen Sage, David Broom, Andrew Hext, Christine Smith

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    Power assisted exercise equipment designed to assist multi-directional movements represent an exercise solution for people with stroke. Users identified digitization of the equipment through a new Graphical User Interface (GUI) to display feedback on exercise performance as a development priority. The Medical Device Technology (MDT) framework was adopted to structure the four-stage digitization programme and ensure meaningful user involvement. This paper reports on stage two of the digitization programme, the aim of which was to create a prototype GUI. Storyboarding followed by participatory data analysis was selected as a co-design method to engage professional (n = 6) and expert (n = 8) end users to create artefacts and express preferences relevant to the design of the GUI. Four overarching themes emerged from thematic analysis of the data; (a) aesthetic format, (b) functional features, (c) exercise programme, (d) motivation and reward. The data was crystallized with external sources to generate a design criterion matrix which directed the first iteration of the prototype GUI. Storyboarding with participatory analysis was an effective method for engaging participants in the design of the GUI and associated user experience. This paper represents a novel application of storyboarding to the MDT framework in user centred digital design.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)(In-press)
    Number of pages32
    JournalDesign for Health
    Early online date3 Aug 2022
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Aug 2022

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


    This work was supported by Grow MedTech under Grant [POF00095].


    • Co-design
    • storyboarding
    • participatory analysis
    • power assisted exercise
    • stroke rehabilitation


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