ACD³ - a new framework for activity-centered design
Paper in proceeding, 2016

During the design process of a product, a variety of design variables are gradually determined – this happens either intentionally when design decisions are made, or unintentionally when design variables are determined by limitations brought about by circumstances. At the same time, product development in teams complicates the design process if the interdependencies of design decisions are not transparent. If decisions are made at the wrong time, or not at all, the design may not end up being coherent with the product’s overall purpose, which negatively impacts the final result of the development. To address this problem, the present paper presents the ACD³-framework, a newly developed product development mapping tool that visualizes where design decisions can be coherently made through a clear structure, while allowing flexibility so as not to inhibit a design organization’s innovation and creativity. To map the interrelationship between several design aspects at once, the framework is made up of three dimensions of design (the D³ in ACD³): levels, perspectives and activities. The three dimensions provide a systemic and systematic framework that organises design work at different abstraction levels within a common structure. From this foundation, two coherent models that together make up the framework are derived: the ACD³-matrix and the ACD³-process. These models are useful for planning and carrying out the right activities, at the right level in the organization, at the right stage of the development work.

Activity-centered design

systematic design process

product development


Lars-Ola Bligård

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

Eva Simonsen

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

Cecilia Berlin

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Production Systems

Proceedings of NordDesign, NordDesign 2016

Vol. 2
978-190467080-3 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Mechanical Engineering

Human Computer Interaction

Areas of Advance




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