Developed before a definition of the problem is

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developed before a definition of the problem is agreed upon and design principles developed. Throughout the process of problem definition, the team experiments with tentative solutions and explores aspects of the design problem through research and prototyping.
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With an agreed set of design principles, the design team proceeds to use creative techniques to develop solution concepts and business models and to implementation of the design. This part of the process is also iterative as the team delves into its research on users and business issues to refine and tailor its solutions. With UCD in particular, the critical element is the impact of the design on human beings. It follows that designers need to understand users needs intimately and integrate this information with information from other sources. As noted earlier, ethnographic research provides a deep understanding of users physical, cognitive, and emotional perspectives. To interpret this information, user-centred designers approach it with an attitude of empathy and employ systems thinking. Empathy is defined by Rogers (1959) as: To perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the Figure 9.1 A depiction of the design process. Adapted from Paradis and McGaw, 2007: courtesy of IIT Institute of Design, Chicago. User-centred Design 133 person, but without ever losing the as if condition. Thus, it means to sense the hurt or the pleasure of another as he senses it and to perceive the causes thereof as he perceives them, but without ever losing the recognition that it is as if I were hurt or pleased and so forth. When Leonard and Rayport (1997) refer to empathic design , therefore, they are not merely discussing how customers can be treated as instrumental objects of study, but of engaging in an intimate process of feeling and sensing with other human beings. Observational methods in ethnography include participant observation, in which the researcher interacts with the subject: in the traditional anthropological/sociological approach which is the root of ethnographic methods in design, the researcher becomes an insider by engaging directly with subjects and assuming a role in the family or community over an extended period of time (Mariampolsky 2006). The effect of such exposure is to develop a close identification with subjects. User-centred management can have a broader interpretation than UCD, where management is concerned not only with creating value for customers, but also developing tools or methods for the administration of the business. Hence the user of a balance sheet may be a financial analyst, or the users of an organization design may be employees. Managers need to be just as engaged with these users as user- centred designers are with users of their designs: as human beings who bring a personal context to their engagement with the initiative.
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