Late Adopters and Laggards: Should We Care?

By Andrée Woodcock.

Published by The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 5, 2014 Free Download

To capture new markets and remain at the forefront of innovation, designers may concentrate on designing for early adopters—most frequently characterised by those who are well-educated and positioned in higher socioeconomic groups. In so doing, the needs of this niche market might reduce consideration of the need for inclusive product and service design, especially when new services are influenced by the functionality of high technology products; for example, those without the latest mobile technology may not be able to benefit from online services and information (such as transport and traffic information, online shopping, and banking).With changes in socioeconomic climates and demographics, there is an urgent need to take into consideration the needs of late adopters and laggards to design inclusive systems which recognise that not everyone can, wants to, or is able to adapt to new technology and ways of working and living. Without such focus, disenfranchisement and exclusion will widen. After a brief review, the paper looks at where and how design is positioning itself to meet the societal challenges posed by laggards and late adopters.

Keywords: Technology Acceptance, e-inclusion, Design, Social Inclusion, User-centred Design, Participatory Design

The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice, Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2014, pp.53-61. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 5, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 163.043KB)).

Prof. Andrée Woodcock

Chair of Educational Ergonomics and Design, School of Art and Design, Coventry University, Coventry, West Midlands, UK

Prof. Andrée Woodcock's work is in applied ergonomics. She has led and currently work on a number of projects in areas related to the design of health care, assistive technoloy, transport, education, and public spaces. She leads SIGs in health, well being, and educational ergonomics. She also supervises 10 PhD students from all areas of art and design and is the leader of the Design and Ergonomics Applied Research Group.