Title: When running fast is not the best option: failure of user involvement in design development processes

Authors: Alberto González-Cristiano; Birgitta Sandberg

Addresses: Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland ' Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

Abstract: This paper analyses barriers to user involvement in design development by focusing on a failure case. By conducting a single-case study on a freelance designer and his client, we found that an accelerated speed of development was among the most important factors that negatively influenced the development of creative concepts, including the final product. This accelerated speed of development limited the time allocated to user involvement and impacted both the product-client fit and the artistic value that makes creative products relevant or appealing in the first place. Specifically, this paper contributes to the scholarship on the failure of user involvement by analysing an actor (a freelancer) with very limited resources. In addition, this paper extends our understanding about the formation of the outcome of user involvement: the final product. From a managerial perspective, this paper serves as a warning about the drawbacks of adopting accelerated product development and provides guidance on how to avoid unsuccessful user involvement.

Keywords: user involvement; development speed; freelancers; creative industries; failure case.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2019.105485

International Journal of Product Development, 2019 Vol.23 No.4, pp.247 - 263

Received: 07 Nov 2018
Accepted: 04 Sep 2019

Published online: 24 Feb 2020 *

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