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Morphological analysis of the ‘context of use’
The ‘context of use’ defines the basis on which product interactions can be designed. The term is used to describe the basis of essential user requirements that must be considered when making design decisions for product development. However, there is a wide range of such requirements. It seems almost impossible to get a manageable overview of the possible characteristics of the context of use, especially when several people are involved in product development. For collaboratively developing contexts of use, morphological analysis offers a potential method for structuring creativity. The morphological analysis is a procedure for deriving the necessary parameters and their characteristics in a structured way. It is useful for developing an overview of a possible context of use and can help create a shared understanding of the context of use. Two teams were observed and subsequently interviewed via questionnaire to learn how morphological analysis supports the collaborative understanding of a context of use and to identify good and bad practices when using morphological analysis in this way. The results show that morphological analysis helps to develop a shared understanding of context of use by supporting a structured exchange in a team. Furthermore, seven good and six bad practices in conducting such an analysis were identified.