Dangal_et_al_2021_Consumers_capability_and_barriers_during_repair.pdf (316.7 kB)
Perceived capabilities and barriers for do-it-yourself repair
conference contributionposted on 2021-06-18, 12:41 authored by Sagar Dangal, Renske van den Berge, Beatriz Pozo Arcos, Jeremy Faludi, Ruud Balkenende
Understanding the extent of common users’ capabilities to repair products themselves, and the barriers during the repair could help legislators and manufacturers improve the design of products. This paper investigates users’ capacity for using various common repair tools, their experience in repairing different household appliances, and the degree to which greater repair experience enables them to overcome related barriers to repair. Data was collected through questionnaires by 276 participants. Most respondents said they were able to use basic mechanical tools, but less than half stated proficiency in using soldering irons or multi-meters for repair. This indicates that more users may be able to perform diagnosis and repair of mechanical problems than electrical problems. However, 74% have repaired an electronic household appliance at least once in their lifetime (even if the repairs were mechanical). This suggests that repair could be a widespread activity. Users with no repair experience listed significantly more design-related barriers to repair than users with repair experience. These design-related barriers mostly concerned diagnosis and disassembly. Thus, designing products with features facilitating ease of diagnosis and disassembly with basic tools could remove some of the major barriers towards repair, and stimulate more users to repair their products.
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