Title: Predicting future users and identifying opportunities for IT product and service design

Authors: Ko-Hsun Huang; Yi-Shin Deng; Ming-Chuen Chuang

Addresses: Institute of Applied Arts, National Chiao-Tung University, 1001 University Road, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan; Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute, Caminho da Penteada, 9020-105 Funchal, Portugal ' Institute of Creative Industrial Design, National Cheng Kung University, 1 University Road, Tainan City 701, Taiwan ' Institute of Applied Arts, National Chiao-Tung University, 1001 University Road, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan

Abstract: Based on studies of users' behaviour patterns or demographic analysis, different types of user modelling and profiling provide an efficient way to identify and present users' preferences and knowledge backgrounds and help practitioners develop design concepts and evaluate final products. However, in rapid design processes, most user modelling and user studies methodology have narrowed down their scopes to limited groups of target audiences and mainly focus on users' interactions and requirements towards a particular product or a platform. In this research we reflect on the methodologies used in user studies in three design projects, to propose a research approach that can help researchers, designers and development teams identify both target audiences and potential users earlier in the design stage. Additional benefits of the approach are also discussed, e.g. extending product lines, identifying user motives and requirements, and supporting cross-platform systems and complex services.

Keywords: product development; IT products; information technology; service design; design methodology; case studies; ethnographic research; ethnography; product design; rapid design; users behaviour; behaviour patterns; demographics; user modelling; user profiling; user preferences.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2013.053502

International Journal of Product Development, 2013 Vol.18 No.2, pp.193 - 211

Received: 01 Jun 2012
Accepted: 02 Nov 2012

Published online: 20 Sep 2014 *

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