“We Try to Listen – But Do We Understand?” An Explorative Study about User Involvement in Technology-Driven Organisations

DS 81: Proceedings of NordDesign 2014, Espoo, Finland 27-29th August 2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Miko Laakso, Kalevi Ekman
Author: Abrell, Thomas; Benker, Andreas
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: 1: University of St. Gallen, Switzerland; 2: Aalto University, Finland
Section: Users in design and development
Page(s): 325-334
ISBN: 978-1-904670-58-2


Technology-driven organisations are facing new challenges to gain a competitive advantage. It becomes even more challenging to be a step ahead of the competition through technical advance while better addressing user needs may be a way to differentiate. When aiming to develop products that better address the user needs it becomes crucial to understand who are the users and what are their needs, what is the value of user information, and how the information can be used to design more desirable products that may lead to a competitive advantage. We conducted a multiple case study at two technology-driven companies in the aviation and healthcare industry that are aiming to involve users more into the new product development (NPD) process. A series of 14 qualitative interviews revealed two main findings that are discussed: (1) there are different types of information needs according to the development stages and (2) the value of user involvement needs to be recognised from both, the company and its customers.

Keywords: User involvement, new product development, key performance indicators


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