What does a user perspective entail for design?

Today, many products are designed for linear consumption, which often make people consider circular consumption processes more cumbersome and less preferable than linear ones. If linear instead of circular consumption processes are preferred, products will not be circulated and the transition to a circular economy will not gain momentum. To make circular consumption preferable it is essential to increase the understanding of what circular consumption entails for people in everyday life with regard to using, managing, and circulating products. Gaining insight into these types of aspects is key to making circularity happen, as this will enable the development of circular offers (products and services) that better fit people’s needs in everyday life, which will have a higher potential to contribute to a circular consumption processes.

In our latest paper we discuss what it means to apply a user perspective to explore opportunities for circularity. The paper discusses what opportunities and challenges for reducing resource throughput such a framing highlights, both in relation to prolonging the useful life of products and increasing their utilisation.

The paper “Use to Use – A user perspective on product circularity” is published in the Journal of Cleaner Production and can be downloaded (for free until May 15) at: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Yny63QCo9Uqmx