Future user-product arrangements: combining product impact and scenarios in design for multi age success

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The presence of four generations in business and organisations and the prevalence of ever-evolving technology, pose questions for technology design; a much wider range of user-product arrangements needs to be forecast and designed for. To provide a theoretical framework that accommodates the need to forecast product appeal for various age groups and contexts this paper compares and combines the dual use of scenarios from scenario based design and scenario planning with the approach of technical mediation in the philosophy of technology. It introduces ‘scenario based design’ and ‘scenario planning’ as well as ‘mediation theory’ and specifically the ‘product impact model’. In scenario based design direct product impact can be used for drawing and evaluating scenarios with a focus how ways of doing are directed and changed by products. In scenario planning indirect product impacts are helpful. Utopian/dystopian conceptions of technology help to draw extreme scenarios, while historical patterns in sociotechnical evolution guide the evaluation and definition of realistic forecasts. Our examples suggest that these effects may just as well go in the direction of augmenting the divide between generations, and full attention is called for to prevent or solve this
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalTechnological forecasting and social change
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2014


  • METIS-304736
  • IR-91567


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