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Title: Towards an understanding of human behaviour for design action
Author: Watson, Benjamin W.
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2011
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It can be shown that exceeding both utilitarian and hedonic needs of consumers leads towards greater satisfaction, delight and enduring consumer loyalty. If designers are to meet the progressively diverse needs of consumers, then access to consumer values, aspirations and the underlying logic of their social practice become increasingly important. If we accept that what people say, do and think are often different things, gaining access to these requirements is clearly a challenge. The challenge is not only concerned with how these requirements are accessed at source, through widely adopted ethnographically inspired techniques, but more towards how these requirements are communicated to the designer. There is a clear disconnect between the collection of consumer requirements and how these requirements are arranged and communicated as implications for design. This thesis details a governance framework for the output of ethnographically inspired research methods to provide an understanding of the arrangement and attributes a communication tool for ethnographic work should possess, particularly towards the more technical area of new product development. The framework bridges a gap between consumer research and design action, which may be used as an approach to facilitate innovation, targeted problem solving and offer creative direction for new product development. Following an exploratory review of the literature and a series of way-finding interviews with domestic appliance and consumer goods manufacturers, a pilot study was conducted to identify the philosophical and practical barriers faced by designers, when designing for consumer requirements beyond the functional. A detailed second level literature review explored the emergent themes and led towards a desktop review of over 30 different creative thinking design tools from the design & emotion movement, 24 different communication approaches for ethnographic work in design and a two year case study on communication within the design process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Industrial design ; Design strategy ; Consumer experience ; Emotion ; Innovation ; Requirements capture ; Communication ; Ethnography ; Systems-thinking ; Design psychology