Pay Attention to Serviceability and Maintenance

Component replacement is part of a product’s serviceability or maintenance, including easy care by the user or owner and easy and effective care by service people. Serviceability requires some systems thinking and a great deal of un­derstanding about how users and other custom­ers work with the product (and the system in which they work). It’s critical for maintenance to be easy and effective, including the opening and closing of the product in order to replace parts without breaking either the product or the warranty. Designers and engineers must work together across more than just scenarios of man­ufacturing and use, specifically developing for scenarios of maintenance and misuse. I have yet to see the results of user or design research that include profiles of undesirable users or scenarios of misuse—or those where users require help.

Yet, these are often the most critical scenarios of all, since they are the places where catastrophic problems or decisions may arise.

Designers and engineers must work together across more than just sce­narios of manufacturing and use, specifically developing for scenarios of maintenance and misuse.