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Designing for body, mind and context. Values-in-action to bridge design and business.

Mette Mark Larsen

Design affects us immensely in how we behave, think and feel. Yet it remains a challenge to make conscious design decisions in the development processes of products that reflect the responsibility we thus bear. Trying to illuminate aspects of how we through design interfere with end-users rational and emotional worlds and can deal with that challenge, I have become interested in the notion of values. In this paper I will use three kitchen design cases to explore the notion of end-user values for design practice. The experience from these cases is conferred with literature from marketing and a user-centered and interaction design perspective. To make fundamental distinctions, I take a cross-disciplinary stance, which draws on a social constructionist rather than a business perspective, yet acknowledges advantages of the latter. I exemplify the discrepancies between value, as e-value-ation of design and discovering family and kitchen life values through user involvement in a mixed-methods approach, which was employed in the main design case discusses here, the prototyping project. Bringing back the focus from process to design outcome and effect, I address two small design cases of redesigning the microwave oven. I finally propose the values-in-action notion to bridge disciplinary cultures and help take conscious design decisions.


Values, context, interaction