Informing Early Design Via Crowd-based Co-creation

by | Apr 20, 2015

Authors: Devarajan Ramanujan, Vinayak, Yash Nawal, Tahira Reid, Karthik Ramani
In ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (pp. V007T06A043-V007T06A043). American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Customer inputs in the early stages of design can potentially lead to completely new outlooks in concept generation. We propose crowd-based co-creation as a means to this end. Our main idea is to think of the customer as a source of initial design concepts rather than a means for obtaining preferences towards designer-generated concepts. For analyzing a large collection of customer-created prototypes, we develop a framework that focuses on generating hypotheses related to customer perception of design attributes. We demonstrate our approach through a web interface to gather design requirements for a computer mouse, a bicycle seat, a pen holder, and a cola bottle.

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This interface was used in a crowdsourcing study with 253 users who represented potential end users for these products. Results from this study show that web-based co-creation allows designers to capture a variety of form and function-related design requirements from user-created virtual prototypes. We also found that such studies can be instrumental in identifying innovative product concepts, and gaining insights about how user perception correlates with product form. Therefore, we make the case that customer creation through distributed co-creation platforms can reinforce concept exploration in future early design processes.


Dev Ramanujan

Dev Ramanujan

Dev is starting as an Assistant Professor - Design Research at Aarhus University this in Fall 2017. He was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Global Engineering and Research Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from Feb 2016 - June 2017. He received his PhD in Dec 2015 from the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue. His research work in the C Design Lab focused on data representation and visualization models for supporting environmentally conscious product design. He has co-authored publications in the Journal of Mechanical Design, Journal of Computing and Information Science, Computer-Aided Design, Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineering International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. He has received the American Society of Mechanical Engineering Design for Manufacturing and the Lifecycle Scholar Development Award in 2014, and the Estus H. and Vashti L. Magoon Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015.  [Linked In Profile] [Personal Web Page]