Abstract

Although User-centred design is prevalent in designing consumer electronic products, the number of product in consumer electronic industry is continuously increasing. Most of the reasons are not technical in nature but have to do with negative product use experience resulting from all kinds of non-technical problems, defined as ‘soft’ problems. The problems are becoming a threat to the industry leading to a large number of product returns. A lack of responding to user diversity due to globalisation is supposedly to be blamed for this product return, considering that user experience with a product cannot be necessarily the same between people. This represents that the current user-centred design methods applied by companies have limits to cope with the diversity between users. Therefore, this study aims to reveal the interaction between user characteristics representing user diversity and soft problems as negative product use experience. A sample of 567 people was invited to a questionnaire survey: 181 American, 201 South Korean and 176 Dutch people. The results indicate that types of soft problems are influenced by particular user characteristics including culture. The implications to the industry are discussed as well.

Keywords:

User experience; usability; soft problem; user characteristics; culture

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

The Influence of User Characteristics in Negative Product Use Experience

Although User-centred design is prevalent in designing consumer electronic products, the number of product in consumer electronic industry is continuously increasing. Most of the reasons are not technical in nature but have to do with negative product use experience resulting from all kinds of non-technical problems, defined as ‘soft’ problems. The problems are becoming a threat to the industry leading to a large number of product returns. A lack of responding to user diversity due to globalisation is supposedly to be blamed for this product return, considering that user experience with a product cannot be necessarily the same between people. This represents that the current user-centred design methods applied by companies have limits to cope with the diversity between users. Therefore, this study aims to reveal the interaction between user characteristics representing user diversity and soft problems as negative product use experience. A sample of 567 people was invited to a questionnaire survey: 181 American, 201 South Korean and 176 Dutch people. The results indicate that types of soft problems are influenced by particular user characteristics including culture. The implications to the industry are discussed as well.

 

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