ACD³ - a new framework for activity-centered design
Paper in proceedings, 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.
systematic design process