Early Validation of User Needs in Concept Development: A Case Study in an Innovation-Oriented Consultancy
An innovation consultancy applies human-centered methods to explore user needs in the early phase of concept development. This paper compares methods applied by the consultancy with theory from the body of knowledge within Design Thinking and Systems Engineering. The basis for this research is observations and interviews for three specific cases for three different customers. This paper presents criteria and impacting factors on how effective the innovation consultancy performs early validation of user needs. A properly planned co-creation session with the customer is the core. Using a key driver graph we found the main impacting factors to be research on user needs, technology and market trends, techniques used for analyzing the problem and solution domain, selection of participants, and the competence of the facilitator. We conclude that in these three cases the methods are effective in communicating innovative ideas and concepts with the purpose of early validation of user needs.
KeywordsHuman centered design Systems Engineering Early validation Design Thinking User needs Innovation Co-creation sessions
This research is part of a larger research project on Human Systems Engineering Innovation Framework (H-SEIF), funded by the Norwegian government through Oslofjordfondet.
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