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THE USER OF THE FUTURE
- a manual-



the camaleon

The web rationalist

Katja Oksanen-Särelä - Mika Pantzar / FMH / 1998

Abstract

The creation of a user and identification of needs; user configuration is an essential element of the innovation process and not merely the final part of the process. The outcome of consumer configuration is a kind of manuscript according to which the consumer is assumed to act when he or she confronts a new commodity.

Technology research refers to this manuscript of "correct consumption", prepared, for example, by means of scenarios, as a "script". What kinds of assumptions about the user are there when building the concept for products of the future? What are the user motivations to adopt and use new technology? The emphasis in the constructive future studies which means that we see these manuscripts of the different users as important as the guidelines to design, and in that way as the final outcome of the product. The technological system, on its behalf, affects on the individual. It is not only a question of whether users or consumers can be divided into different segments by their relationship to technology, but also about new "versions of human beings" emerging as a result of the new technology.

In the visions there are different motives to use the technology. Technology gives its user shelter from outside forces; thieves and natural disasters (intelligent home) and also a shelter from illnesses (self-monitoring devices). Technology helps its users in everyday tasks and drudgery. It is also a communication device which replaces other forms of communication and makes possible a more mobile way of life. It is also a transportation device, but more in mental than in physical way. Even though the diversity of the users/consumers is seen as important when thinking about the user's needs, the visions are quite homogenous. In the visions the users are seen as active, social and constantly looking for new stimulus.

One may ask whether this is a appropriate way of looking at the user.

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