Analysis of Toolbox Characteristics

Today I will analyse a selection of 7 currently used toolboxes, and try to see which elements I would like to keep, and which are missing or need to be improved for my project, the Inclusive Design toolbox.

To analyse how the different toolboxes would compare, I used an associative card sorting technique. Each toolbox is represented by a pink post-it, with its features attached in smaller post-its. On a big sheet, I connected similar features by lines.



Then, I copied the common elements, and some elements that I felt were unique or desirable for my toolbox, to new post-its. I arranged these arrow-shaped tabs so that little clusters of related concepts would form, this way there were 6 main concepts left. I see these 6 aspects and their sub-chapters as a wishlist for the toolbox I am developing:

  • Overview (images, few methods)
  • Credibility (TNO, literature)
  • General guidelines (ethics, recruiting participants, checklists)
  • Step-by-step (filtering, symbols, short routing)
  • Examples (personas, best practices)
  • IT-specific (Agile, Scrum, UX)


I compared the existing methods to this wish list, and found that in only three toolboxes, all the desired aspects of a toolbox are covered. Perhaps I can use the strengths of these toolboxes to get inspired for my own project:

  • Designing With People: Credibility, Examples, Guidelines, Overview
  • HCD Connect: Overview, Step-by-step
  • Verify: IT specific

If nothing else, I can use the framework developed here, to compare other toolboxes in the future.



Check out the Depository of Existing Design Toolboxes!


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