Designing Digital Touch

This Toolkit was developed through research on the process of designing digitally mediated touch, with attention to the social and sensory aspects of design. It aims to provoke and support designers to put touch at the centre of their design research, thinking and prototyping. It is the result of a collaboration between social science and design educators as part of the ERC-funded IN-TOUCH: Digital Touch Communication project based at UCL Knowledge Lab, University College London.

Design collaborators - Dr Val Mitchell and Dr Garrath Wilson of Loughborough Design School. You can find out more about the toolkit development here.

Who is the toolkit for?

The toolkit is for any designer or developer who wants to explore and experiment with the design possibilities of touch and its digital mediation.

You can use the toolkit by yourself or in a design-team /studio to inform your design process. The toolkit can also be used with clients (individual or groups) to build a collaborative design narrative or scenario, or as part of a design interview.

What is the toolkit?

The Designing Digital Touch toolkit is a flexible design resource that you can use to inspire, provoke, interrogate, and reflect on touch and digital touch as part of your design process.

The toolkit supports your engagement with the social and sensory aspects and complexities of touch throughout all stages of the Design Thinking process. It is structured through the five design stages of the Double Diamond Design framework (REF): Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver, with an additional Pre-Discover stage to help you engage with touch awareness and sensitisation. Importantly, you do not need to follow this design framework to use the toolkit cards!

The toolkit provides three card types across these stages:

FILTERS are questions to help you reflect on your own and others' experiences.
WILD CARDS are deliberately abstract prompts for thought or action.
ACTIVITIES are more structured exercises and may require more time.

Colours and symbols on each card indicate the design stage and type.