Is this a design-worthy dilemma? Identifying relevant and inspiring concern conflicts as input for user-centred design

Deger Ozkaramanli, Pieter Desmet, Elif Ozcan Vieira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Personal dilemmas can be valuable starting points for user-centred design. Since dilemmas prevail in everyday life, designers can identify many dilemmas relevant for a given design brief. It can therefore be a challenge to choose a target dilemma as a means to frame an appropriate problem space. To address this challenge, this paper proposes seven qualities of 'design-worthy' dilemmas. These key qualities were derived from a cross-comparison of four dilemma-driven design cases, and were clustered in three categories: 1) relevance for target users; 2) potential to inspire design ideas; 3) meaningful formulation of conflicting concerns. The qualities of design-worthy dilemmas explicate the considerations designers have when selecting a target dilemma, and thus, they can facilitate introspection and discussion in problem framing. In addition, the case studies demonstrate the main activities involved in dilemma-driven design, namely discovery, definition, and application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-42
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Design Research (online)
Volume15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Concern conflict
  • Design process
  • Dilemma-driven design
  • Problem framing
  • User-centred design

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