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A method for Turning Needs to Ideas and Requirements for Innovative Products
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Customers are the very thing that makes companies able to sell their product, yet the involvement of customers in the innovation process is questioned. This thesis investigates what can be done to make the users part of the whole innovation process and how to transform the user needs into requirements for a systematic evaluation. An extensive literature study of theories regarding user involvement and user needs were performed as a base for the thesis.The work has roughly been done by following the Front-end process described by Ulrich & Eppinger (2012). However, Ulrich & Eppinger’s method of turning needs to requirements could not be used in our innovative product development, as their process is primary for incremental improvements. Studying the literature provided us with great insights regarding the definition of needs and revealed a gap in the literature regarding applying needs in an innovation process.Collection of user information was carried out in several means, resulting in a list of user statements from which needs can be identified from. Inspired by Patnaik (2004) we redefined the categorization of needs as universal, general and specific needs, giving the categorization a distinct connection to the degree of innovation they enable and by that simplifying the process of identifying needs. The needs were used in an idea generation to verify if the needs were possible to use as inspiration for producing innovative ideas. It was found that needs are usable in an innovative idea generation but for a systematic evaluation of ideas the needs had to be translated into measurable requirements.The answer to our research question “How can customer needs be transformed into ideas and requirements, consequently act as guidance for the designers’ generation of innovative solutions?” is to transform the needs to measurable requirements by answering the questions in our question method, NTRI, enabling a systematic evaluation of innovative solutions. For the needs to be used as guidelines in the process, they have to be used throughout the whole process. This is made by following a five step process which included; Collect user input, Find needs, Transform needs to requirements, Generate ideas from user needs and Evaluate ideas with requirements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
Keyword [sv]
Teknik, behov, innovation, krav, lösningar, produktutveckling, process, metodutveckling
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-52123Local ID: 9431446c-d5aa-497b-95f2-87a73c7ede77OAI: diva2:1025490
External cooperation
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Industrial Design Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20140626 (global_studentproject_submitter)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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