Autism Design Research Conference

Autism Design Research Conference

Theory and Practice. Our consulting practice and portfolio are reflective of the different approaches to design, research and testing that our clients desire.  Some of our work is responsive to questions our clients raise, and consulting that works to resolve those questions. Other projects are more about looking at the questions and wondering if those are the relevant questions and ways to approach a project. Many of our best projects test our clients' problem definitions in preliminary research and then redefine the definition before proceeding.


These two different approaches can both be very useful to clients, the former in using our tools and process to resolve their concerns by testing, modeling, benchmarking and designing solutions, and the later to deal with conceptual issues of problem validation.


The later approach, a more philosophical look at what is needed, can actually change a company’s culture and inculcate the value of definitional research, using subjective measurement of the user to clarify what is really a user centered process.  Many of our clients contact the lab with definitional certainty and transition to understanding that scientifically defining problems is of paramount value prior to proceeding with solutions.


This process of solving client defined problems or helping the client to define the problems describes the broad range of our work.

Sound Quality Working Group (SQWG)

Sound Quality Working Group (SQWG)

Specialties. In the product development field, we consult in many product types including appliances, vehicles, audio visual, medical, aircraft, tools, lawn products and many others. With a specialty in human perception, we approach each of these product types with a special focus on human comfort, performance and preference.  Many of our product projects have been published. We founded the first sound quality collaboration, the Sound Quality Working Group (SQWG).  We have convened 20 SQWG sound quality conferences at Orfield Labs.

In the architectural field, we offer the only multi-disciplinary building performance consulting package in the country, providing consulting in acoustics, lighting, daylighting, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, audio visual design and preverbal subjective research on perceptual comfort and perceptual preference.

Sound Quality Working Group (SQWG)

Sound Quality Working Group (SQWG)

Philosophy. It is our belief that clients and design teams can complete exceptional projects in normal budget ranges if the focus is on the user groups, and the budgets favor this focus. Excellent projects are more about knowledge and the application of good process than about budgets. And the quality of projects can be measured using the tools we have developed over many years.

Perceptual Market Research (PMR)

Perceptual Market Research (PMR)

Summary. Whether our clients are looking for Sound Quality, Visual Quality or User Experience Quality,  we can provide a broadly interesting combination of objective and subjective research, so that the definitions all originate with the user, and the analysis can the be done by Orfield Labs or the client.

Perceptual Market Research and Perceptual Branding, both developed by Orfield Labs, are two of the  most effective product strategies, as they move away from organizational problem definition directly to measurable user definitions, saving large amounts of time trying to depend on designer intuition rather than user measurement.