User Centred Product Design

The activities of the UCPD (User Centred Product Design) research group aims to enhance knowledge about, and to develop methods for, successful integration of user aspects in modern industrial product and production development processes. Hence, design and product development methodologies and philosophies are important areas for our research. So are physical and cognitive ergonomics.


UCPD was established in 2003. We aim for better understanding of how to successfully design and develop products and production systems according to human needs and desires. Examples of questions that we want to answer are: How to represent human physical characteristics in computer-aided development? How should we design information systems for manual assembly? How can we enable efficient and value creating product development processes? How can product design gain from understanding the customers' relationship with the product? How can value be created by function-based products and services? Etc.


We believe that customer value is created from a good understanding of existing customer needs, and then an efficient product development process to form and implement solutions to those needs. This gives customer satisfaction and profitable businesses. The principles of sustainable development are the basis of this work. In our research we focus on areas such as:
• Lean product development
• Cognitive ergonomics
• Design for user experience
• Ergonomics simulation.
Our aim is to, in collaboration with other researchers and industry, generate new knowledge and piece by piece achieve our goals. Do you want to join?

How can we collaborate?

Our group consists of researchers and research students who together build up the knowledge area of user centred design. We have the knowledge and equipment to carry out studies in information usage, ergonomics simulation and methods for integrating lean product development etc. Our research is to a large degree applied in its nature, and we strive for close interaction with the world outside academia. Together we identify problems and find solutions.

Examples of research projects with industry

IMMA (SSF / ProViking)
In the project we develop path-planning methodology to steer computer manikins. The objective is faster, more robust and simpler ergonomics simulations. The research is carried out as a collaboration between Virtual Ergonomics Center (VEC) and the Fraunhofer-Chalmers Center (FCC). Several companies are also involved in the project.
FACECAR (FFI / VINNOVA, Vägverket and Energimyndigheten)
The project creates conditions for the production of vehicles with environmentally friendly power trains. In the project we are responsible for the research related to information use in manual vehicle assembly. The goal is to enable the assembly personnel to do a good job despite the increasing variety of instructions that are created by the increased number of vehicle variants that are to be produced in the same production lines.
DIGITAL ALBERT (KK-stiftelsen, VINNOVA, SSF, ISA and Vårdalstiftelsen)
The project studied how computer manikins can be used to represent older people in computer aided product development. It focused on the representation of various body measurements (anthropometry) and range of motion, visualization of older people and the use of character descriptions for computer manikins.

Current partners and networks

• AB Volvo
• Saab Automobile
• Volvo Car Corporation
• Swerea IVF
• Finnveden Gjutal
• Virtual Ergonomics Centre
• Fraunhofer-Chalmers Center (FCC)
• Chalmers
• Loughborough University (UK)
• Gothia Science Park
• Virtual Manufacturing Sweden
• Innovatum 


At present the research group consists of the people below. More information about the researchers' background, interests, projects etc. is given through the links or via email contact.

- Keith Case, Professor / Loughborough Univ., Part-time at Univ. of Skövde
Email link

- Dan Högberg, Associate Professor, Docent 
Email link

- Peter Thorvald, PhD
Email link

- Gunnar Bäckstrand, PhD / Swerea IVF, Part-time at Univ. of Skövde
Email link

- Erik Brolin, PhD student, Lic. eng.
Email link

- Anna Brolin, PhD student
Email link

- Ari Kolbeinsson, PhD student
Email link


Uppdaterad: 2013-08-28
Sidansvarig: Dan Högberg


Post address:
User Centred Product Design Research Group
Dan Högberg
Virtual Systems Research Centre
University of Skövde
Box 408
SE - 541 28 Skövde

Phone: + 46 500 448500 (Switchboard at University of Skövde)

Visits: City Centre Campus, House Portalen