An extreme user approach to identify latent needs: Adaptation and application in medical device design

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • Singapore University of Technology and Design


The perspectives of users who experience any form of physical or cognitive challenges have the potential to capture the latent design needs of the general population of users. These ‘extreme user perspectives’ are some of the extreme conditions that could influence the users’ experience with a design. This study applies a systematic approach that provides a step by step guidance to select the appropriate extreme user perspectives during the initial stages of a design process. This systematic approach is applied to identify the latent needs associated with six different medical devices. This research leverages the potential of simulated extreme user perspectives to amplify designers’abilities to identify latent unarticulated needs through an empathic experience. The extreme user perspectives in this study are derived from user Activity Diagrams that represent the user interactions associated with the corresponding medical devices. A latency metric is introduced and evaluated for its potential to identify the latent needs. Six teams from a Healthcare Product Design course with 25 participants were involved in the study. Results demonstrate the application and effectiveness of the proposed systematic approach to capture the latent needs associated with all six devices. The potential applications of the proposed latency metric are discussed for future applications.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication31st International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference - Anaheim, United States
Duration: 18 Aug 201921 Aug 2019


ConferenceASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
Abbreviated titleIDETC-CIE
CountryUnited States

    Research areas

  • Design approach, Empathy, Latent needs, Medical devices

ID: 39749487