Need driven product development in team-based projects
2007 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
In this paper, practical activities of Needfinding - an intertwined approach to identifying needs and to visualizing idea concepts in early design - are described and discussed. This is done primarily to gain an increased understanding of the various representations of user needs that are fed into the fuzzy front-end activities of team-based product innovation projects. The empirical basis comes from a study of an eight-month collaborative product development project, performed under realistic conditions by MSc students in close collaboration with their client. Focusing closely on customers and their needs is encouraged within the conceptual framework of Integrated Product Development and is increasingly highlighted as a key enabler in the design of truly innovative products. Despite the fact that identified customer needs are considered as the initial and primary input into such an innovation process, it can be argued that the design teams do not commonly have a sufficient understanding of customer needs and they do not normally interact with customers in their environment. Besides focusing on measurable aspects of user behaviour and requirements, a traditional approach to identifying and managing customer needs usually includes several interpretive stages before being handed over to the design team. In the context of innovative products, the identification and definition of customers and their needs is a non-trivial and difficult exercise. It involves, we suggest, not only Needfinding but also the definition of ‘those who might need the product’, users and customers to co-evolve iteratively in the early phases of design.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cité des Sciences et de l'industrie, Paris, France, 2007.
Product Development, innovation, Needfinding, engineering design
Other Mechanical Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:bth-11285OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-11285DiVA: diva2:889484
16th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED'07