DfU - 5 - product impact





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Uploaded on Jan 2, 2012

Product Impact, by Steven Dorrestijn from university of Twente
More information: www.designforusability.org

The dominant approach in design theory is that for designing good, useful, user-friendly products, it is important to understand user needs and characteristics. However, technologies in use shape and transform user needs and behavioural routines. To improve usability, the focus must not be exclusively on user needs and characteristics, but also on the complementary aspect of how technology changes people.

The reconfiguration of behavioural routines and preferences by technology is an important topic in the philosophy of technology. To date, little of this knowledge has been transferred to design practice. The Product Impact project therefore investigates how knowledge of the behaviour changing effects of technology can be integrated in product design. Can Product Impact knowledge help to anticipate and avoid use problems? Is it possible to design products that deliberately guide and change user behaviour? An explicit part of the project is to consider the ethical dimensions of this view on technology and the profession of design.

More information on this specific project can be found on:


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