SofaNet – UX Product and Service Design in 1997 – Product and Service Design

Whilst cleaning up my cupboard I came across an article written by Jani-Mikael Kuusisto back in 1997 for the Finnish paper “Tekniikka & Talous“. I remember he came to the university where I was working and we spoke at length on design and the internet. My view on the role of technology in business and society was different from the most people. I was not a technology-driven kind of person but rather looked at the patterns people have. These patterns drive people to do what they do and react on stuff the way they do.

Of course it is as always more complicated but that was my premise and up till today it is a very good starting point for inquiry. UX service design (Product and Service Design) for me are about people and their wishes, desires, frustrations, anger and despair. In my opinion we are still learning the basics about Product and Service Design design. The biggest learning will be in hind sight that people have different starting points, different levels of the willingness to invest, different uptake speed, different focal points when it comes to integrating technology into their life.

Still we work on very general assumptions on what is the best button position and color and so forth. This is not wrong, I am not saying that, but it is a starting point only. I introduced years ago the concept of “perspectives” to a software company that makes complex services. I explained how the same set of functionality can be both perceived from multiple points of views and configured in various manners. It was one more step into developing truly user centered designs or perhaps, user adaptive designs.

But is started for me back in 1995 in Finland and this article brought me back to these thoughts. Maybe I should write more about it so it is here to read for more people. But then again, I do not even advertise this site anywhere 😀

If this interests you and you like to hire my services as a consultant, teacher or designer then contact me

teollisuus article


From Cordis Database (

The electronic Furniture Design and Marketing Agency eDFMA is a new type of service as an elctronic trading system for furniture using Internet and WEB pages. It goes beyond the usual trading connexion of company to client put on the Web as simple Web advertising. The objective of the project is to help transfer the furniture market from a production driven system towards a consumer (and design) driven one (as partly has happened in fashion industry). The eFDMA creates a new relationship between the three main actors in the field of furniture production and consumption: – buying public (consumers at home or in shops) – designers (mainly organised in very small independent firms) and – production (majority are SMEs) This new relationship will make the system of furniture sales and production much more dynamic as it allows designers to offer the public more choice without having to produce it first. At present production is a conservative (not enhancing potential or taking risk) element in this chain of supply and demand. In short it means that orders for furniture run through an electronic Agency (eFDMA, see diagram) via computer terminals at home or in shops operated either by clients themselves or assisted by sales personnel in shops and then forwarded to production companies. This implies that the flow of information within the chain of design- production- marketing- distribution- sales in turned around to an interactive direct link between sales and design through an agency and will become: design – marketing – sales – electronic agency – production – distribution. This scheme puts us in the heart of an operation that will turn around the flow of information of a production driven system towards a consumer driven one. In this case the field of application is furniture industry, but the system can be applied to a number of other product systems. Once set up the system will operate commercially. Most of the software of the project is existing, but has to be connected and co-ordinated. The results of this operation will be: – create more variety and better information for consumers – create export sales opportunities for furniture production firms that at present have little to no possibility to develop this by themselves – start to replace traditional marketing tools such as printed catalogues that have to be reprinted every year, accepted by the conservative marketing strategies of production firms – create a more flexible mechanism that can react directly to market trends, because of the interactive character of the system