VTT offers services for different stages of human-centred development processes (see the diagram). The best results can be obtained when user perspective is taken into account from the very beginning of design.

We can take full responsibility for human-centred design in the service or product development process, or we can take part only in specific tasks according to the wishes of each client.

Research on usage cultures. The needs and expectations of users and customers are the starting point for service development. The service can be adjusted to the habits and practices that the users have already adopted. On the other hand, the service can bring about the emergence of new habits of use or usage cultures. We study users' attitudes, needs and expectations mainly using qualitative methods. We emphasise the importance of real usage situations (contexts of use) as well as users' images and experience of the service. We aim for "deep knowledge", conduct comprehensive interviews, and observe real usage situations in different environments like at work, at school, at home or in different free-time activities of the user.

Concept design. We create ideas, design, and implement new product and service concepts. In the creation of new concepts, we benefit from VTT's expertise in software design, signal processing, graphic design and user experience. In the development of new technologies, we rely particularly on scenario methods. They enable us to demonstrate to potential users how the new technology could be a part of their everyday lives.

Demonstrating design solutions to users. It is important to test different design possibilities with users during the early phases of development. We demonstrate ideas to users with the help of use scenarios and paper or proof of concept prototypes.

User requirements specification relates user needs to technological possibilities. We define user requirements using tools like user and task analysis, scenario methods, focus group discussions, and user evaluations of existing products.

Expert evaluation. We analyse user interfaces based on technology-specific guidelines and general user interface design heuristics. The evaluation report describes identified problems and improvement suggestions. Expert evaluation is at its most effective when we participate in the user interface design from the very beginning and see to it that the relevant usability guidelines are being observed.

Usability evaluation in laboratory settings. In laboratory tests, users try out early paper or technical prototypes of the product in order to identify potential usability problems. The earlier the problems are identified, the easier it is to fix them. We have a traditional usability laboratory and virtual reality laboratories where future applications can be tried in simulated environments.

Usability evaluation in the field. In field tests, we assess user acceptance of a pilot or actual service in real-life situations. This enables us also to collect feedback on user experience. We can make one-off field tests that resemble laboratory testing as well as long-term field trials. In a long-term trial, we observe the ways in which users adopt the product and what kinds of usage habits begin to emerge. Our data collection methods include video and audio recordings, use diaries, and usage logs.

Prototyping of product concepts. We develop technical prototypes that implement designed functions either in entirety or partially, depending on the situation. Prototypes can be implemented either on the target platform or as simulations on other platforms.

Consultation. We offer consulting tailored to the customer's needs, for instance, we can assist in adopting human-centred design approach in your project.

Contact us and we can find out together how our expertise can best work for you in the development of your product or service.