1st Edition

Theory of User Engineering

By Masaaki Kurosu Copyright 2017
    144 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    This book outlines the new concept of user engineering and covers the diversity of users, along with the business process that includes the design and the user’s experience processes. Although the concept of user experience (UX) has become popular, the definition and the methodology are still ambiguous. User engineering is similar to the user-centered design, but differs in that its scope is not limited to the design process but concerns the whole manufacturing process and the whole usage process, i.e., the whole lifecycle of an artifact. User’s perspective is strongly emphasized in this book, hence, its stance is far from that of the marketing approach that usually fails to notice the life and experiences of users after the purchase of an artifact as consumers.

    Theory of User Engineering differentiates between the quality in design and the quality in use, and the objective quality characteristics and the subjective quality characteristics. In addition to the user research using ethnographic methods, the author introduces a new approach based on the artifact evolution theory that can be adopted in the planning stage.

     1. What is the User Engineering?

    1.1 Who Are the User?

    1.2 Universal Design and Accessibility

    1.3 Diversity of User

    1.4 User Centered Design

    1.5 Core Concept of User Engineering

    2. Usability and UX in the Context of Quality Characteristics

    2.1 The Concept of Usability

    2.2 The Concept of UX

    2.3 A Model of Quality Characteristics

    2.4 Satisfaction

    2.5 Conclusion

    3. User and Artifacts

    3.1 Artifact Evolution

    3.2 Artifact Evolution Theory (AET)

    4. Design Process of User Engineering

    4.1 Business Process and Design Process

    4.2 Business Process for a Better UX

    5. Understanding the User and the Context of Use

    5.1 The User and the Context of Use

    5.2 Basic Approach to the User and the Context of Use

    5.3 Understanding and Specifying the Context of Use

    6. Specifying Requirements

    6.1 Plan on the Artifact

    6.2 Information about the Evolutionary Process of the Artifact

    6.3 Information about the Actual User

    6.4 Information about the Real Context of Use

    6.5 General Scientific Facts on the Nature of Human Being

    6.6 Information about the State-of-the-Art Technology

    6.7 Various Constraints

    6.8 Final Remark

    7. Generating Ideas

    7.1 Design Thinking

    7.2 Osborn's Checklist

    7.3 Power of Visualization

    7.4 Jump from Reality

    8. Creating the Design Solution

    8.1 Designing Iteratively

    8.2 Prototyping the Product

    8.3 Prototyping the Service

    8.4 Design and Evaluation

    9. Evaluating Usability

    9.1 Evaluating the Designs against Requirements

    9.2 Method for Usability Evaluation

    9.3 Inspection Method

    9.4 Usability Test

    10. Evaluating UX

    10.1 Evaluation of UX and User Research

    10.2 Methods for UX Evaluation

    10.3 Long-Term Monitoring

    11. Advanced Technology and User Engineering

    11.1 Interaction Technology

    11.2 Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Robot

    12. Toward the Future

    12.1 Innovative Prospect

    12.2 Conservative Prospect



    Masaaki Kurosu is a professor at the Open University of Japan. He is also an President Emeritus of HCD-Net (Human Centered Design Network) in Japan. Based on his career as a usability and UX professional in industry and academia, he proposed the concept of user engineering. He also proposed a new academic domain of artifact evolution theory and many methods related to usability and UX including sHEM, TFD, DTM, UX graph, ERM, etc. His work on the apparent usability is well-known.

    Before coming to NIME (National Institute of Multimedia Education) that was consolidated to the Open University of Japan in 2009, he was a professor at the faculty of informatics of Shizuoka University. He was formerly working for Hitachi Ltd. at the Design Center for 7 years and the Central Research Institute for 10 years. He graduated the Ph.D. course of psychology at Waseda University.

    He was born in Tokyo in 1948. He served as a conference chair of APCHI98, INTERACT2001, 1st and 2nd International Conference on Human-Centered Design, and Thematic Area of HCI in HCI International conferences in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. He is an author or a contributor of more than 50 books.

    "Compared to other texts, the breadth of the approach to user experience is commendable. The consideration of both design and evaluation in a meaningful and integrated framework is laudable."
    — Paul van Schaik, Teesside University, United Kingdom


    "Professor Masaaki Kurosu has written a clear, authoritative, thoughtful, readable, and complete description and explanation of a complex topic. His book will be of use to professionals, academics, students, and researchers who wish to gain insight into theoretical/philosophical matters as well as practical discussions that are useful for current or next-generation success of product/service development."
    — Aaron Marcus, Aaron Marcus and Associates, USA