User driven design: Does it always work?

“Companies should lead their users, not the other way around”
http://www.designophy.com/article/design-article-1000000127-user-led-innovation-cant-create-breakthroughs.-just-ask-apple-and-ikea-.htm

This is an interesteresting article about how companies and designers should not rely on users to drive their designs and products, and I would like to hear your opinion on this.

I agree with the article but it all depends on the product. And also today, what most of us buy is no longer driven by our needs but our desires.

My only answer to this is that the authors are confusing user-centered design, in which you consider the needs of the users and weigh that against your own experience as a designer of things, and what a lot of people call crowd-sourcing, in which you ask people what they want and give that to them with no thought about what they might need or not know is possible.

Just because you are a painter, doesn’t make you able to design paintbrushes, but a designer can work with a painter to understand the real issues and make recommendations based on those issues.

+1 carton.

I think the author of this article suffers from Lone Visionary Empath Syndrome.

I know I will probably be shunned for this comment but hey free country…

Not sure if those quotes from Apple are actually accurate or not. But really if apple did some user centered design there products would be much better.

However what makes good design really boils down to perception. If you can convince the user the design is good then they will believe it… even when it’s not IE APPLE… usually to do this you need to understand the user more then they understand themselves.

+2 Carton

it amazes me the number of articles you see about how user-centered design is bad and they describe things that have nothing to do with user-centered design.

Users know what they are using now. Designers job is to anticipate what they will be using next.

At the heart of the issue is imagination. Consuming and imagining are polar opposites.

When observation of patterns of user behavior and professional interrogation, are combined with coincident and historic trends, those of us in the anticipation and creation business, Design, provide the next solution.

I’ve always found that most product development is too blind to the real needs and desires of users/customers. That’s why I always push for the most user research that I can get (or do it myself).

The more experience I get, the more I realize inertia is very great with office chairs. It takes a lot to get someone out of one to look at what’s going on outside.