Visual explanation of Quality Function Deployment. Strategies to improve the QFD decision-making tool’s usability

Imbesi S., Giacobone G.A.

The Quality Function Deployment, also known as QFD, was born in Japan around 1965 as a tool to obtain measurable parameters related to design quality, basing on needs and requirements expressed by the users. The inputs of this tool are the measurable characteristics or attributes of the product or service that is going to be designed, and the needs expressed by the costumer in his own language. These parameters are inserted in a matrix called House of Quality that, using a graphic approach, allows the multidisciplinary team to assign a mark to the degree of correlation. The QFD is usually used in business contexts by multidisciplinary teams that, after being subjected to significant training, for a defined period meet and work together to compile the tool. The authors have been using the QFD in several design research projects with the aim of bringing innovation using a user centered design approach, including researchers of different fields and professionals working in the markets related to the products or services that were going to be designed. It was noticed that some problems occurred using QFD in contexts where people had not been subjected to adequate training, and where they did not have the opportunity to meet regularly in person, but most of the time they met virtually online. In this poster the authors suggest some reflections on how graphic solutions could be applied to the QFD, to make this tool’s easier to be used and applied by a multidisciplinary team that never met before and have never used it, with no time to be trained. The possible graphic strategies will aim to increase the tool’s usability to people with different backgrounds that are using the QFD for the first time, to make it accessible and effective in its results. The support of graphic design is very important to make the process more intuitive and less discouraging, to open the use of the tool to persons that are not specific technicians and to share obtained results to the team in a most intuitive way.

Posted: Sep-2018

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