The Co-Discovery method: an informal method for iteratively designing consumer products

J.A.M. Kemp, T. Gelderen, van

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    Abstract

    Efficiency and effectiveness are frequently used as measures for what is called the usability of a product. For many consumer products it is not solely this that renders a product successful. Many users of domestic or leisure products are not really interested in efficiently and effectively executing some well-defined task(s). Other values such as hedonic or emotional benefits are perceived in those cases to be more important than the utilitarian benefits for the appreciation of a product. The relative importance of these benefits changes with time. This 'usability life-cycle' is what we call the Usability Continuum, showing this gradual shift of requirements. Three different phases can be distinguished: First Impressions, Initial Use and Habitual Use. Traditional, formal usability evaluation mainly focuses on the last of these, while our Co-Discovery method tries to explore the first two phases in an informal, natural setting. This article describes the backgrounds and procedure of the Co-Discovery method together with a field study we did in Nuremberg, and it is shown how this procedure can be carried out and utilized.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-150
    Number of pages8
    JournalIPO Annual Progress Report
    Volume28
    Publication statusPublished - 1993

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