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How to use a user: Important aspects of user involvement within ergonomics-related product development
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Systematically involving users in product development is considered as a successful strategy and makes companies more competitive. User involvement in various organizational settings, activities or situations can clearly contribute to product development. In order to understand how, dimensions of user involvement and interdependencies between them are in this report identified and investigated.

The result shows that the four dimensions of When, Who, Where and How are the most important to consider when involving users. These can each be broken down into a number of aspects that should be used when assessing and comparing sources of user knowledge. With the framework presented in the report, sources of user knowledge can be linked to one or more user involvement situations, meaning when and how to utilize it. The other way around, if a development process enters a certain phase, these aspects could be used to state what requirements there are regarding the users and the context. A source that is to be utilized must hence fulfill these requirements if the user involvement should be appropriate and effective.

Additionally, the empirical study showed that apart from the theoretical aspects above, there could be several more aspects to consider when involving users. These are company-specific and should be identified for each company that wants to implicate user involvement.

This study shows that there are clearly interdependencies between the dimensions of user involvement. These interdependencies make many types of user knowledge sources suitable only for the Strategy and idea generation phase, and it’s evidently difficult to identify, locate and utilize sources that fulfill the requirements of user involvement in the later phases of a product development process. The empirics showed that the interdependencies between the aspects of user involvement are neglected in many cases, resulting in user knowledge sources being utilized in a phase where they’re not appropriate to be utilized.

To overcome this, many different sources are required in order to achieve proper user involvement, and combinations of various sources should be involved to “cover” the whole development process. The models presented and implemented in this study could be utilized in order to pinpoint aspects of existing sources of user knowledge. It could also be employed in order to investigate requirements on a source of user knowledge in relation to a current development phase of a project. This way, companies could specify which type of sources that are missing in their product development process and in a more efficient way work towards filling those gaps.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 115 p.
Keyword [en]
User involvement, user information, ergonomics, user tests
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120517ISRN: LIU-IEI-TEK-A-15--15/02281-SEOAI: diva2:845640
External cooperation
Scania CV
Subject / course
Project, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
2015-06-12, 12:19 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-08-12 Created: 2015-08-12 Last updated: 2015-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Petrén, NinaSöderquist, Hanna
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