Using DIY Practitioners as Lead Users: a Case Study on the Hair Care Industry

Event Date: August 30, 2016
Authors: Jaesik Hahn, Amy Marconnet, and Tahira Reid
Journal: Journal of Mechanical Design
Paper URL: Link to Full Text
Using DIY Practitioners as Lead Users: a Case Study on the Hair Care Industry
Journal of Mechanical Design, 138(10), 101107, 2016. doi:10.1115/1.4034086

Lead users play an integral part in helping engineers to identify latent needs of customers, and this approach has been used in a variety of ways within the design community. However, despite their close resemblance to lead users, do-it-yourself (DIY) practitioners have not been directly examined by the design community. A sevenstep framework is presented where the first four steps resemble a typical traditional design process and the remaining steps are relevant for the approach of identifying DIY practitioners as lead users. A case study from the hair care industry is presented to illustrate this framework. This paper establishes a connection between these two groups of customers, and demonstrates how the insights of DIY practitioners, which manifest as latent needs for knowledge, can inspire research for the development of new technologies.