Ecosystem-Minded Insight Generation

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Abstract

Interactions between users and products happen every day somewhere inside our ecosystems. While design teams perform human-centered practices alongside product development, the results of these tend to distress dynamics when designing for users with a different cultural and environmental setting. Therefore, this article introduces the notion to further the research phase of human-centered design practices by supporting the reiteration of the insight generation task through ecosystem thinking with a background study on design autopoiesis. This ethos helps redirect context-driven research by guiding design teams in the understanding of the ecosystem surrounding product design in three interconnected fields: socio-cultural, environmental, and extended context. The ecosystem-thinking approach explored in this article assists the research phase of the design process by remodeling insight generation into an Ecosystem-Minded method. The method includes the gathering and synthesis of insights from the surrounding ecosystem, such as traits of the natural environment and modernization of infrastructure. This allows practitioners to outline situations unfamiliar to a design problem and to obtain a more holistic solution supported by the ecosystem-thinking approach.