Bringing Scenario-Based Product Design into Practice: A Framework for Building and Using Scenarios

By Irene Anggreeni and Mascha C. van der Voort.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With pressure from the competitive market and more selective buyers, consumer product design shifts the focus ever closer to users. Using concrete stories about product or technology use, henceforth referred to as ‘scenarios’, have all the potentials to bridge an understanding within a design team and between a design team and stakeholders. However compared with domains that have more mature history with design scenarios such as information technology and human-computer interaction, the adoption of scenarios in product design is in need of a more solid framework. Additionally, when it comes to introducing a scenario-focused practice in profit-oriented organizations (i.e. design companies), the new scenario-based design approach is challenged to be more reliable, time-saving and gratifying than the currently used design approaches. This paper proposes a framework for building and using scenarios that considers the practice of product designers. We ground our research on the design practice as well as literature to explore the possibilities of scenario-based design in answering the challenges faced by product designers. The framework aims to support designers in structuring their design knowledge, confirming their rationales and communicating their ideas. We hope to contribute knowledge to the domain of scenario-based design as well as a tool that guides designers in applying a scenario-based practice.

Keywords: Product Design, Scenario, Scenario-Based Product Design, Scenario Building, Design Tool, Design Practice

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.339-354. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.392MB).

Irene Anggreeni

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Laboratory of Design, Production and Management, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands

Irene Anggreeni (1982) obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Informatics at Bina Nusantara University, Indonesia. During a brief period of working in the software industry, she became attracted on the human aspect of software development. Therefore she continued her master study at Linkoping University, Sweden with a specialization in human-computer interaction and usability. From 2006, she is working on her PhD in Industrial Design Engineering at the University of Twente. Briefly, her work deals with the applicability of concrete stories about product use (henceforth, ‘scenarios’) in the design of consumer products. Her research aims to support designers in the activities of identifying, creating and communicating scenarios within a scenario-based design approach.

Dr. Mascha C. van der Voort

Ass. Professor, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Laboratory of Design, Production and Management, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands

Mascha van der Voort (1974) obtained her PhD regarding the design and evaluation of a new fuel-efficiency support tool at the University of Twente in 2001. She is now leading a research group on scenario based product design within the Laboratory of Design, Production and Management as well as coordinating research regarding natural interaction in computer-mediated environments at the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology. Concurrently, she has been teaching courses regarding human factors, ergonomics, usability and research methods at the industrial design engineering education program of the University of Twente.


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