Our traditional design has been producer-centric. But to respond to the frequent and extensive changes and increasing diversification, we have to change our design to user-centric. But it is not a straightforward extension and just listening to the voice of the customer is not enough. Value is defined as value = performance/cost, but performance has been interpreted in the current design solely as functions of a final product and all other factors such as manufacturing are considered as cost. This framework has been effective until recently because there has been asymmetry of information between the producer and the customer. As the producer had a greater amount of information, they only had to produce a product which they think best and it really satisfied the customer who needed a product. The 20th century was the age of products. But as we approached the 21st century, we entered information society and sometimes the customer knows more than the producer. Thus, such a one way flow of development to fill the information (water level) gap doe not work any more, because the gap is quickly disappearing. The difference was evaluated as value in the traditional design and it meant profit for the producer. Therefore, a new approach to create value is called for. One solution is to raise the water level together by the producer and the customer so that the level increase serves for profit for the producer and for the true value for the customer. In order to achieve this goal, we have to identify what is the true value for the customer. We have to step outside of our traditional notion of value being functions of a final product. What is the true value for the customer? It is customers’ satisfaction. Then, how can we satisfy our customers. This paper points out if we note that our customers are very active and creative, we can provide satisfaction to them by getting them involved in the whole process of product development. Then our customers can enjoy not only product experience but also process experience, which will satisfy their needs for self actualization and challenge, i.e., their highest human needs.
- Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
Best for Whom? Changing Design for Creative Customers
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Fukuda, S. "Best for Whom? Changing Design for Creative Customers." Proceedings of the ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Volume 3: 30th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. August 15–18, 2010. pp. 643-649. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2010-28330
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