From remembering to envisioning product use: An informal design technique

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Design and Emotion, 2010
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To be able to get insight in potential use experiences of design proposals, designers would ideally have continuous access to a diverse group of end-users who could give feedback. Since in practice this is not possible designers often have to rely on other sources to be able to reflect on the use issues of their design proposals. Previous research has shown that designers often apply informal techniques to reflect on use issues, in which personal knowledge and experience of previous projects serve as a frame of reference. However, this knowledge often remains implicit. In this study we explore a technique in which members of a design team make all personal knowledge and assumptions about use in a certain product domain explicit. In this technique we distinguish remembering, imagining, experiencing and envisioning use. The information that is gathered in this way is captured in a matrix which structures use situation aspects and corresponding use issues. These issues concern user experience, usability as well as performance. In three workshops with different designers we explored the benefits and limitations of such a technique. Particularly iterating between remembering, imagining and experiencing worked very well to evoke experiences of the designers.
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