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ICED 11
Papers

Assessing the Benefits of Early Stage Design Research

Assessing the Benefits of Early Stage Design Research

Year: 2011

Section: Eco-Design, Sustainable Manufacturing, Design for Sustainbility

Editor: Chakrabarti, A.

Author: Thandapani,Selvan; Woodbridge,Richard

Section: Eco-Design, Sustainable Manufacturing, Design for Sustainbility

Pages: 497-505

Abstract

The benefits of user-centered design in design and testing for Base-of Pyramid (BoP) related products have been generally established. However, conducting extensive field tests in rural villages can be daunting. Besides the expense of conducting multiple field visits in remote locations, the process of transforming those design insights into amanufactured design change can take weeks, if not longer. These barriers can lead some firms to forego obtaining valuable user feedback during the initial design research process. Two case studies, based in Chennai, India, investigate the benefits of conducting ruralBoP product tests in an urban environment. Findings suggest that design insights gained from the urban families are as informative as similar tests conducted in rural settings. This report also offers insights on selecting users, field-testing new BoP products, effective user-centered design frameworks, rapid prototype fabrication, as well as limitations to this approach.

Keywords: Base-of Pyramid (BoP), User-centered design (UCD), Urbanization, Prototyping, Urban testing, Design research, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

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ds endorsed conferenceICoRD 11 - The 3rd International Conference on Research into Design

Design is ubiquitous; it pervades almost all spheres of life, and has been around as long as life has taken up the task of purposefully changing the world around it. Research in design and the emergence of a research community in this area has been relatively new, its development influenced by the multiple facets of design (human, artefact, process, organisation, and the micro- and macro economy by which design is shaped) and the associated diversification of the community into those focusing on...

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