High-Tech Meets End-User

High-Tech Meets End-User

Marc Steen (TNO Information & Communication Technology, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-564-1.ch005


One challenge within the high-tech sector is to develop products that end users will actually need and will be able to use. One way of trying to match the design of high-tech products to the needs of end users, is to let researchers and designers interact with them via a human-centred design (HCD) approach. One HCD project, in which the author works, is studied. It is shown that the relation between interacting with end users and making design decision is not straightforward or “logical.” Gathering knowledge about end users is like making a grasping gesture and reduces their otherness. Making design decisions is not based on rationally applying rules. It is argued that doing HCD is a social process with ethical qualities. A role for management is suggested to organize HCD alternatively to stimulate researchers and designers to explicitly discuss such ethical qualities and to work more reflectively.

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