Prototyping 'Clasp': implications for designing digital technology for and with adults with autism

Will Simm, Maria Angela Ferrario, Adrian Gradinar, Jon Whittle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents Clasp, a novel tactile anxiety management, communication and peer support tool developed with, by and for adults diagnosed with High Functioning Autism (HFA). Clasp connects a tactile anxiety coping device to a smartphone, which records and communicates anxiety levels for self-feedback and reflection. By adopting an iterative prototyping approach, we gained a deep insight into anxiety experienced by adults with HFA and evaluated the role of digital technology in its management. The paper describes our development approach, which we argue is unique to this multidisciplinary and multiorganizational design context involving hard-to-reach and vulnerable groups. Finally, we reflect on lessons learned from this process and share a set of design implications for the future development of digital tools that, like Clasp, are specifically designed with, by and for adults with HFA.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems
EditorsShaowen Bardzell, Carman Neustaedter, Eric Paulos
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450329026
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventDesigning Interactive Systems 2014 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 21 Jun 201425 Jun 2014


ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems 2014
Abbreviated titleDIS 2014
Internet address


  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Communication
  • Haptic
  • Social networks

Cite this