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Entrepreneurship / Business

The USER Model

Process of design thinking to develop a product, test it and make sure it will be successful with customers. Letters in USER stands for user, system, establish and realise. The stages of the process should be done as quickly as possible to evaluate the viability of an idea and product.  The design thinking is part of developing a product or a service. In case the product is successful with the customers, it is transferred to entrepreneurial and business activities in order to introduce it to the market in a phase of implementation. After that we evaluate its performance to decide what will happen next.

The USER Model’s stages can be divided as Problem stage and Solution stage. Logically, User and System stages leads the designers to get to know the users, see what are their needs and desires and then to assess how do things relate to each other within the system. Establish stage within the model combines the user and system, and sets targets in order to realise the prototyping.

Users have emotional, physical and cognitive needs and the product or service fulfilling them has a high chance to succeed and gain competitive advantage. In order to know the user and his needs, this first stage in the design thinking contains observation, market research and user testing.

System, in this stage the relationships between user, designer and community are set and include roles, objects and rules as can be seen in following picture. This phase includes detailed analysis, customer journey/pathway touch points, customers’ behaviour, competitors etc.

Establish stage concerns with finding meaningful needs which will the product satisfy, what are the important skills, setting up goals and prioritising them. In the end of this phase, a brief is produced and the targets are set. Personas are known and were used to represent the “type of user”.  The story telling is used to combine the problem and solution stages.

Realise phase means prototyping, sketching, thinking with hands. The prototype is made and tested. This is the final stage of designing process and if the prototypes are successful, the ideas are transferred to the business processes, where it is modified further.

I have never thought about what does it take to design a product and at the same time I felt it is a crucial skill and knowledge in entrepreneurship. Even though I think it is unlikely that I would design products myself as I am not “artistically creative”, I am sure I will know this knowledge as a stepping stone for collaboration with creative people in future, being able to “frame” their creativity in practical way and establish a productive cooperation.

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Discussion

One thought on “The USER Model

  1. It’s hard to find out what someone’s needs are. I teach English, so ‘learning English’ is their main aim, but each person has different emotional needs and different ‘English needs’ so in the end I’m offering something different to each client.

    I’m sure other professions have similar challenges.

    Posted by David | February 10, 2012, 15:55

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