Development Approach - User Integration

To be able to taken into account the needs of different user groups in the development process, the needs and requirements of relevant users are collected and analyzed in the early phase of the development process. The lessons learned form the primary legal framework for the development process, and will also reinforce the potential use on the market and emphasize the need for such a solution.

BACKGROUND - UNDERSTANDING - RELEVANCE

The term user integration in the project 2PCS can be described by the active involvement of users in different phases of product development. Integrating the users represents an important success factor and is used flexibly in almost all phases of product development. Caused by user integration depending on product dimensions considered, the respective phase of development and the considered user group, information relevant to the product design are created by integrating users (product ideas, decisions on the selection of concepts, optimization hints, testing of prototypes, etc.). By integrating the users the entire project team should not only get a better understanding of the needs of the target group, but the users should also be actively involved in the product development using different methods.

Integrating the users the following benefits for the project can be generated sustainable:

  • Ensuring a needs-based, target-group oriented and market-oriented product development and overall solution

  • Building a common knowledge base and understanding of users

  • gaining knowledge about different product dimensions

  • Awareness and motivation of users to use the product

  • Enabling a first identification with the product

  • Binding of different groups of users (lead users) for future product phases

  • Exploitation / dissemination of the findings obtained for

    • Raising awareness of important opinion leader / player

    • PR and marketing activities

    • Confirming the market deployment of comprehensive and representative survey of demand

    • Efficiency and sales-enhancing effects

User Integration in the 1st Phase

In the first phase ideas, approaches, needs; the actual situation and specific needs of users are collected at the level of primary and secondary end-users. The goal is to collect project and product relevant findings from a user perspective. To collect the necessary information workshops, interviews and discussions have been used and different tools integrated to increase the effectiveness. The tools used vary according to different research questions that should be answered.

User Integration in the Development Phase

The development process of 2PCS can be divided into five core phases based on "Stage Gate", which enable to integrate the users in the process. The first three phases have already started, while the later two phases are the next steps in the development process and can thus be found in detail under "Next Steps".

  1. Idea Generation & Collection of Requirements/Needs

  2. Concept Development

  3. Technical Development

  4. Test and Adaptation

  5. Launch Planning

1st Phase: Idea Generation & Collection of Requirements/Needs

Creativity tools like brainstorming, interviews and focus group discussions are used to collect new ideas, approaches, needs and specific requirements of users at the level of primary, secondary as well as tertiary end users. A standardized questionnaire is created using the findings of the qualitative analysis and by adapting the conditions of the different countries.

2nd Phase: Concept Development

As part of analysis and definition of requirements user skills, tasks, application processes, and environmental conditions of product use are analyzed. For this purpose analytical tools are used to text existing market solutions, mock-ups or fist product concepts with users. The collected requirements and knowledge gained from the user integration, the process analysis and technical (software and hardware) as well as legal analysis are defined in the specifications. Following the specifications the specific requirements for the product and the entire solution are defined and prioritized, by making a list of requirements for the development process.

3rd Phase: Technical Development

In the third phase needed or existing technologies are combined together and used for the product to be developed and adapted. Product components are designed and coordinated. In this phase users can be integrated in the development process to evaluate certain concepts as needed through user evaluation techniques.

Integration Methods

Methods used to integrate different user groups in the development process are qualitative methods conducting interviews and workshops and quantitative methods using online questionnaires.

Selection of Methods and Tools

In order to efficiently implement a user-friendly product development, a selection of the best methods/tools should be possible for specific applications. As a basis for the selection of the proper methods for user integration, an integration matrix based on a scientific publication was created. The methods and tools are chosen according to the following criteria:

Efficiency

Methods with little preparation, implementation and evaluation costs (equipment, space, manpower, organization, number of included users, duration)

Usability

Integration into the development process should be high

Conduction possible without training and previous experience

Rise interest, to maintain a high level of motivation

Relevant Results

results: meaningful, easy to understand, reliable (reliable, replicable), valid (valid for the present problem) and objective (independent of the host and a framework of implementation)

User Integration

Methods and tools to enable active participation of user groups

The selection of a method is dependent on the relevant requirements of the current product development phase. Methods that are used are:

  • Intuitive creativity techniques for idea generation

    • Approaches, facts or opinions

  • Analytical methods for the task and requirement definition

  • Selection and evaluation methods to limit the number of solutions

  • Test methods for drawing conclusions about the quality of the functionality and usability

    • Testing e.g. of concepts, mock-ups, prototypes and products

Qualitative Methods

Qualitative methods used to integrate the users are workshops including search field analysis and look & feel tests of existing solutions on the market, as well as focus group discussions and open interviews with experts in the different business fields.

Quantitative Methods

Besides qualitative methods, quantitative methods are used to integrate the different user groups the project is focusing on. Therefore, online questionnaires are created for the three different editions of the product. These methods enable to get a better evaluation of the project as well as an overview about the different specific requirements of the heterogeneous target group. In the Business and Home Edition section an online questionnaire was made available for around 24,000 institutions in Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In the Private Edition section active and mobile seniors are tried to be reached by an online questionnaire.