Seeking Insights Into An Unknown Future: Exploring Designers? Strategies To Discover Key Insights

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Knudsen, Line Sand; Haase, Louise M
Series: ICED
Institution: Aalborg University
Section: User-centred design
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Insights play a significant role in creation of new products. Insights provide the designer with an understanding of the user, market, technologies and trends, and how these might change over time. This information is critical for the designer to get an understanding of how and why present products succeed or fail. Hence, insights serve as both triggers and drivers for envisioning future products, but they are also fundamental to ensure that new products created will provide meaningful experiences to the users. In design literature, there is a significant amount of research on how to gather information about the user, market, trends, etc. However, very little research is focused on how the designer addresses this information to discover or uncover key insights. Through interviews with expert designers behind twelve products, we identified three strategies that designers use to discover insights. We found that designers search for insights that could be used to: 1) establish the product?s future identity, 2) identify core challenges based on the new identity in the existing user experience and 3) identify solutions that could meet the core challenges and accentuate the new identity.

Keywords: Design insights, Early design phases, Design practice, New product development


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