Users and Customers: Design Feedback

  • Crispin Hales
  • Shayne Gooch


Well-designed products tend to be readily accepted and absorbed into general usage, setting the standard until superseded by improved models or a completely new development. The expectations of customers and users change with time, not always in a predictable fashion. Once upon a time it was accepted practice to use a starting handle to hand crank one’s car, and many a sore thumb resulted from hooking it over the handle in the wrong way. In 1912, Cadillac led the way in introducing starter motors. These soon became the norm, and hand-cranking became an annoyance one put up with to get going when the battery “went flat,” which it did with monotonous regularity. Now the expectation is that the car should start at the turn of a key, thousands of times, year after year, without any attention whatsoever. Anyone designing a product must, as a minimum, meet current user expectations or the product will not sell, and the trick is also to try and work out how user expectations will change in the future so as to meet those better than the competition (Cagan and Vogel, 2002). For example, the concern for product quality, product safety, and environmental issues is likely to increase steadily, so design engineers must continually improve their knowledge and skills in these areas.


Design Team Design Manager Product Liability User Expectation Design Feedback 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Crispin Hales
    • 1
  • Shayne Gooch
    • 2
  1. 1.Triodyne Inc.NorthbrookUSA
  2. 2.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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