Anticipated experiences: Early product concept evaluation

Tuesday 18/06/2013 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Brunel University, Michael Sterling Building, Room ML362
Speaker: Lutz Gegner , Designer and PhD Researcher at the Department of Design at Aalto University, Finland.

Experiential issues are gaining an increasingly important role in today’s consumer product, services or systems development. Especially in the realm of interactive technologies superior User eXperience (UX) is considered as one of the key competitive factors in product development. We are currently witnessing the expansion of interactive technologies into nearly each aspect of modern life-style. In this highly attractive market, competition is fierce and companies are seeking for innovative applications to increase their market share and develop new markets. In the area of interactive technologies it is no longer enough for companies to develop products that are highly functional and usable but at the same time they need be desirable for gaining competitive edge. Products are seen much less as tools for completing tasks but more as means to enable novel experiences.
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researchers and practitioners have recognized the limitations of the traditional usability framework to address the non-utilitarian aspects of interaction. Concepts like aesthetics, pleasure, emotions and fun have entered the traditionally primarily pragmatic-oriented community. The introduction of these non-utilitarian aspects require new approaches for defining and assessing product qualities. Yet, methods for evaluating concepts on an experiential level are either scarce or very limited in their focus. In this seminar I will present the Anticipated eXperience Evaluation (AXE) approach for evaluating early product concepts with users. The approach utilizes opposed images as interview stimuli to facilitate the metaphorical thinking and reflection of participants. AXE is a qualitative method that has been designed to provide development teams insights on how future users might experience and value a product or service concept. Furthermore AXE aims at eliciting suggestions from participants that can serve as inspiration for refining concepts.

Lutz Gegner is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Design at Aalto University, Finland. His research focuses on the design and assessment of products and services in early stages of the product development process. Lutz is also member of the "Embodied Design Research Group" at Aalto University. The Embodied Design Research Group conducts research in a newly framed field that resides in the intersection of human-centred design, embedded systems design, and service design. Before entering research, Lutz got a BA in Product Design from the Free University of Bolzano in Italy and obtained his MA in Industrial and Strategic Design, and International Design Business Management from the University of Industrial Arts, Helsinki. He has over five years of professional experience working as a Design Consultant and In-House Designer on a wide range of projects. Currently Lutz is working as Interaction Designer for BEN-Energy, Switzerland.