Designing for future professional activity – examples from ship bridge concept design.

Wahlstrm, M., Karvonen, H., Kaasinen, E., & Mannonen, P. (2014). Designing for Future Professional ActivityExamples from Ship Bridge Concept Design.Advances in Ergonomics In Design, Usability & Special Populations: Part II,17, 238.

Researchers were designing for future ship bridge concepts and they have said that studying users activities and needs does not provide new kind of radical or revolutionary innovations. Solutions are too much a like with the existing models of activity. Researchers aimed to generate design solutions that would support existing activities of professional workers and surprise the users with innovativeness by providing new possibilities.

Researchers presented three-step design approach to generate these solutions:

  • Reformulation of user study findings
  • Techonology trend and future foresight
  • Co-design and co-evaluation after creating the initial design ideas

First the idea is that user activity is understood rather than that ideas are directly used as design indications and focus should be more on the user experience than on the product features. Techonology and future foresight helps designing future oriented solutions. Co-design and co-evaluation allows increased quality and specification of design ideas. Researchers note that generating more ideas faster is possible by diminishing self-criticism allowed by this knowledge and eventually there will also be solutions valued by the actual users.


Mikael Wahlstrm was speaking 28.5.2014 in the seminar Shaping the future with human-driven design. He introduced their innovative leap – how they designed future ship bridges. It was really interesting to listen because I am extremely interested about the process how to gather user requirements and desing totally new concepts. His arguments made sense and it was nice to see their actual designs. Article and presentation made me understand better what possibilities there are for using the user data for designing totally new concepts.

– Olli T.

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