User-Centered Design, product development and design, fuzzy set theory, customer benefits, organizational benefits


Ease of use differentiates products in a highly competitive market place. It also brings an added value that culminates in a higher degree of customer satisfaction, repeated business, increased sales, and higher revenue. User-centered design is a strategic asset that companies can use to improve their customer relationships by learning more about their customers, and increase their sales. In today's economy, the measurement of intangible assets such as user experience has become a major need for industries because of the relationship between user-centered design and organizational benefits such as customer loyalty. As companies realize that the inclusion of user-centered design concepts in product or system design are a key component of attracting and maintaining customers, as well as increasing revenue, the need for quantitative methods to describe these benefits has become more urgent. The goal of this research is to develop a methodology to characterize user-centered design features, customer benefits and organizational benefits resulting from developing products using user-centered design principles through the use of an integrated framework of critical factors. Therefore, this research focuses on the identification of the most significant variables required to assess and measure the degree of user-centered design (UCD) characteristics included in the various aspects of product development such as physical design features, cognitive design attributes, industrial design aspects and user experience design considerations. Also this research focuses on the development of assessment tools for developers to use when evaluating the incorporation of user-centered design features in the creation of products and systems. In addition, a mathematical model to quantify the inclusion of UCD factors considered in the design of a product and systems is presented in this research. The results obtained using the assessment tools and the mathematical model can be employed to assess the customer benefits and organizational benefits resulting from including user-centered design features in the creation of products and systems. Overall, organizational benefits such as customer loyalty, company image, and profitability are expected to be impacted by the company's capability to meet or exceed stated design claims and performance consistency while maintaining aesthetic appeal, long product life, and product usefulness. The successful completion of this research has produced many beneficial research findings. For example, it has helped characterize and develop descriptors for estimating critical quantitative and qualitative components, sub-components, and factors influencing user-centered design that are related to customer and organizational benefits through the use of fuzzy set modeling. In addition, the development of specific tools, methods, and techniques for evaluating and quantifying UCD components resulted from this study.


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Graduation Date



Crumpton-Young, Lesia


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering








Release Date

April 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)