User-centered design processes are comprised of several methods and are deployed to gain insights about user needs and experiences. Many of these methodologies require qualitative studies with small groups of users based on set guidelines and are time and resource intensive. We propose a new technique: “User Review Analysis” that makes use of big data to uncover user needs. The technique consists of collecting and analyzing online User Reviews on shopping sites such as Amazon.
The basic idea is that because of the fast and cyclic nature of consumer products development, reviews of Today’s products inform designers on the next product generation. As the data is based on actual product-use experience with similar products, the aggregated insights provide product-in-use experience and brings to light several product design aspects and complement the existing methods.
The ideation sessions indicate the potential of the method and that designers benefit from including User Review Analysis in a design process, specifically when used in conjunction with other methods, as its informational characteristics are complementary.