Currently, the field of consumer electronics is one of the most challenging environments with respect to product design. Due to the combination of the continuous influx of new technology and the economic effects of globalization, it is now possible to create products with a functionality that was unimaginable even one product generation ago against a price level that opens huge markets on a global level in a very short time. However, the combination of technically sophisticated products and global markets is no guarantee for customer satisfaction. The complexity of current software-based consumer electronics and increasing customer expectations result in increasing numbers of consumer complaints on new products in the consumer electronics industry [Den Ouden, 2006]. Analysis of these complaints indicates that to an increasing degree the root-cause of the complaint cannot be retrieved by the consumer electronics companies [Brombacher, 2005]. Current product defects do not only represent violations of the product specifications, but also unconsidered customer requirements and unexpected product behavior. Consequently, software-based consumer electronics nowadays require a design oriented New Product Development (NPD) process which focuses on the user of the product. This chapter deals with the research on the possibilities to incorporate the user perspective into the development process of consumer electronics. The first Section (2.1) describes the need for this user focus in the development process in more detail. In Section 2.2, the overall research model is presented. Subsequently, in the third and fourth section the approaches and results of two different research focus areas are presented. Lastly, in Section 2.5 the implications of this research for the consumer electronics industry are presented together with some directions for further research.
|Title of host publication||Trader : reliability of high-volume consumer products : a collaborative research project on the reliability of complex embedded systems|
|Place of Publication||Eindhoven, The Netherlands|
|Publisher||Embedded Systems Institute|
|Number of pages||178|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|