Designers and Users — an Unhappy Love Affair?

  • Rüdiger von der Weth


It is a common idea that designers do not take into account the people who are confronted with the their ideas and products. Many studies about designers activities (e.g. in engineering and software design) show that especially in the early stages of the design process (clarification of the task, conceptual design) usability aspects are neglected (e.g. Dylla 1991). Especially novices concentrate mainly on technical aspects (Ahmed 2001). Even if designers work for other designers, this is a major problem. This is shown by the research of Andreasen and others about integrating the perspective of other designers while developing design tools (Araujo et al. 1996; Andreasen and Mc Alonee 2001; Araujo 2001). Often instructions for customers are based on a deficiant model of the users knowledge, motives and habits (Hacker 1991). This situation is criticized by many engineers. Concepts like “usability engineering” (e.g. Nielsen 1993) show the importance and the necessity for improvements in this field. This can happen in several ways. (a) Methods for designers should be developed and evaluated which integrate the user’s perspective in designers thinking and work process. (b) Users should participate in the design process not only by the formulation of requirements (if customer and user are identical) and by the testing prototypes and products. He should also be involved in other stages of the design processes e.g. conceptualisation of first ideas. By that way designers should get solutions which fit in a better way to users needs.


Design Process Work Process Technical Innovation Usability Engineering Designer Thinking 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rüdiger von der Weth
    • 1
  1. 1.StuttgartGermany

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