Exploring future use: scenario based design

Design United
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Advanced design methods for successful innovation - recent methods from design research and design c, 2013, 1st, pp. 57 - 77
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The future use of products and services will be determined by both their design and the different ways in which they are used. It is difficult to understand and to explore this future use as it is hard to imagine and predict something that is not tangible and has not yet appeared on the market. Scenario based design, as we present it here, supports user-centred design processes that are aimed at developing products and services. Although this methodology has matured in the field of human computer interaction and software design (e.g. Rosson and Carroll 2002), the application of scenarios in product and service deign is still at an early developmental stage. Scenario-based design is a methodology that supports designers and design teams in their creative and reflective activities by providing an explicit means to explore future use. This exploration is achieved by providing flexible and vivid representations of product use - the scenarios - that support how the desired future use can be imagined, and stimulate reflection on product and service ideas with regard to how they are used in different situations. Apart from its advantages, in regard to exploring future use, scenario-based design also supports the communication that takes place with the various stakeholders regarding the evaluation of product use. Since scenarios can serve as a common language that everyone can understand, irrespective of their backgrounds, they create a common ground so that s discussion can take place among the various stakeholders concerning the current and future use. Scenario-based design is a general term that applies to many different techniques aimed at the generation and application of scenarios. This chapter does not intend to give a complete overview and description of these technique, but instead it presents a general framework in which these techniques can be placed. Where applicable, the chapter indicates how it is related to other methods described in this book.
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