Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Psychology

Committee Chair/Advisor

Brooks, Johnell O

Committee Member

Venhovens , Paul J

Committee Member

Rosopa , Patrick J


Historically, the steering wheel has been viewed as a stylistic or utility component of the vehicle; however, as in-vehicle technology increases, the steering wheel may provide a way to integrate technologies into the vehicle. This study built upon a usability study that examined a broad range of steering wheels. In the current study, participants designed their ideal steering wheel for a concept vehicle by using a paper prototyping method. Fifty-five participants (20 young adults 18 to 30 years of age, 20 older adults 47 to 65 years of age, and 15 male automotive engineering graduate students 18 to 30 years of age) were given an outline of a steering wheel and asked to choose their ideal steering wheel functions as well as the types of controls for those functions and stylistic features. Results showed that while there was no single common design, there were trends among the groups. These three groups selected largely similar controls but tended to locate them differently, create unique steering wheel structures and express their wants and needs differently when asked about their designs. Based on trends in participant designs, two prototypes were created for each group and two for a combination of all groups.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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