The human-centred design of a product or a service begins with the needs and wishes of its users. The user's perspective is retained throughout the design process. With human-centred design approach the designed services and products get more usable and they provide better user experiences. VTT provides Human centred design services from planning and managing the human-centred design process to individual design and evaluation activities.

At the beginning of the design process it is often impossible to know exact user requirements. Therefore, design starts with initial user requirements, which are re-defined as the design process moves ahead. Design ideas are demonstrated to users and feedback is actively collected from them. Usage scenarios, visualisations, paper prototypes and computerised prototypes can be used to facilitate communication between designers and users.

The user's perspective must be taken into account from the start of the design process: the earlier a new user requirement is identified or an old one redefined, the easier it is to take these changes into account during product design.

According to the ISO standard (ISO 9241-210:2010, Human-Centred Design for Interactive Systems, International Organization for Standardization), human-centred design process consists of four kinds of activities that recur during each iteration cycle of the design process:

  • understanding and specifying the context of use

  • specifying the user requirements

  • producing design solutions to meet user requirements

  • evaluating designs against requirements

Human-centred design underlines the importance of co-operation between users, designers, and usability specialists.

The design process can be complemented with user studies on the context of use, which provide information about the physical, social, and technical environment into which the product will be launched. The results of the user studies can, for example, indicate whether the product should be adapted users' existing habits of use or whether new ways of action are emerging with the use of the product.

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