Towards Understanding the “User of the Future”

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Integrerad produktutveckling

Författare: Ramon Andres Amezcua Hidalgo; [2019]

Nyckelord: ;

Sammanfattning: A fast-moving technological landscape is driving companies of today to constantly search for the solutions of tomorrow. As a result, companies are constantly searching for the next big thing and speculating on possible futures. Across multiple industries, it is easy to find concepts, workshops, hackathons, and marketing campaigns that address the concept of the future. With themes titled as "The future of ..."(be it medicine, food, manufacturing, sports, etc.) or "... of the future" (be it cars interiors, homes, transportation, nutrition, etc.), companies try to reimagine products and services for a speculative future. Design practice plays a large role in this movement. However, a specific contemporary global phenomenon, the Aging Populations, is surfacing important limitations to user-centred design. These limitations are resulting in unsustainable practices and negative connotations in design solutions that lead to Ageism. Furthermore, user-centred design processes are faced with the challenge of creating proposals that are limited by what could be misconceptions and prejudices based on personal knowledge. Since these proposals are conceived by present factors, needs and users, design is hence fringed by temporal positioning. The combination of these factors can lead to ideas of the future that may not be adequate or accurate for both an uncertain future, and the people that might participate in it. One may ask then, when identifying new opportunities, or when designing new products, what characteristics should be considered in the product development process that will remain stable and continuous in the future? This thesis explores this challenge. Resulting in a theoretically developed framework that helps design practitioners to understand the context that people may interact with in the future. Based on a Practice-Oriented Design approach, this thesis proposes a Transgenerational Practice Distillation Process that results in a Transgenerational Practice Unit, which aims at understanding the context in which the “Users of the Future” will interact with products and services. Then, by studying the practice of eating in a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) in Tokyo with people with ages 60 to 80, the proposed framework explores how long-lasting contextual elements can be found through participatory design techniques. The output of the proposed framework consisted of stimulating material for creative processes that helped product innovation professionals in reimagining the way restaurants can be designed.

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