15. Universal User Process

15.Universal User Process

 Universal Process

Illustration 54: Universal User Process Diagram

There is a universal process that applies to using any product. These are the general steps done to use any product or service. The universal process starts with deciding to use the product and ends when you have completed what you used the product to achieve and you have put the product away or disposed of it. If you are looking for innovations this is a simple way to find things about your product that can be improved.

Notice that the Universal User Process Diagram is not an Outcome diagram; it is a process or Function diagram. It shows the actions taken. An Outcome diagram shows the States that must be achieved. Without a specific goal, most people find it easier to imagine using a product than the results. For each step in the process there are Outcomes for measuring how well it is done.

Decide to Begin

Something happens that causes you to use a product. Helping a user know when to use a product and that the product is the way to achieve their desire is an important aspect with many potential innovations.

Gather Materials

Once you’ve decided to begin the task you need to gather all materials for doing the task, including non-physical items such as lists of information or measures.

Prepare Materials

Often the materials related to using a product are not ready when you get them. You might need to take them out of a package, put them in some order or position, clean, or otherwise get them ready to start using the product. An electric appliance needs to be plugged in and the power turned on to the outlet. Buying something online requires having money in your account and knowing the account number or password.

Confirm It’s Ready

Confirming it is ready to use may seem obvious but for many products that was an innovation. A temperature gauge on the oven tells you it is ready to begin cooking. A power light on a device shows you it has power and is turned on.

Do It

The do it step is different for each product. This step is described by a complete Function and Outcome diagram for the specific product.

Monitor Progress

You need to know if the product is working, if you need to change how you are using it, or if it is done. Many products on the market could be improved in the monitor progress step.

Make Adjustments

Based on the information from the monitor progress step you might make adjustments. At some point you make the final adjustment of ending using the product because you have completed what you were doing.


When you are done you need to put away the product, materials and clean up any mess. You might also need to buy more to be ready for next time. And concluding using one product might start the process over again with deciding to use a different product.

Chapter 14 Chapter 16


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.