Value opportunity analysis

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In creating a new product one must consider several attributes that is considered attractive from the user's point of view. These attributes include usefulness, usability, and desirability, and they can be applied either to the product as a whole or certain features of the product. In essence, creating a new product should accomplish a feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction for the user. This could range from providing an easier method to accomplish a task to achieving a job in a more pleasurable manner.

How is the VOA used? As mentioned earlier, a value opportunity analysis can expose how valuable a product is to the user. One can compare how the worth of a new design compares to that of an older or more generic design. In addition, amended products could also be analyzed through the VOA in order to get a better understanding of whether the changes made were an improvement or not.

Traditionally, there are seven commonly identified value opportunities that will be explained in further detail. They are emotion, ergonomics, aesthetics, identity, impact, core technology, and quality. Each of these value opportunities should be appealing to the user in terms of usefulness, usability, and desirability to a certain extent.


This is an example of what a VOA set-up may look like. When there is no level for the attribute, it could mean that the attribute is not applicable, or perhaps the attribute is not addressed yet. In the latter case, once amendments have been made, the VOA will be reanalyzed to incorporate the changes made.



A product should be emotionally satisfying when used, whether it is a product that is being used in the work force or something that is used personally. Some examples of an emotionally fulfilling product are things such as the rear and side view mirrors of a vehicle that presents a sense of awareness and confidence when driving alone on the road; and step-ladder, which gives a sense of independence for a user in a way that one is able to paint a wall without the supervision of another individual. The emotion is a very broad category. Because it is so broad, this attribute could be further broken down into: adventure, independence, security, sensuality, confidence, and power.


Side mirrors allow drivers to become more confident as it gives them the ability to be more aware of their surroundings.


This attribute is very similar to the emotion attribute, however, this category pertains more to the physical senses. The success of a product could be heightened by exciting as many of the human senses as possible. By accomplishing this, users would have a favorable relationship with the product, creating a positive impression of the product in the market. The specific sensual attributes are visual, tactile, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory.

Product Identity

Essentially, a product can be more successful in its category if it is very established in its kind. This attribute is an expression of a products individuality and uniqueness. It is the ability of a product to stand out above others. There are three parts to product identity: Personality, point in time, sense of place. A product will succeed in this category if it stands well among other similar products of other competitors and if it meets the standards in terms of its application.


Today more producers and designers are recognizing the social and environmental impact of their product. Some consumers prefer products that are more socially conscious, hence, adding more value of this product to them. Socially, it can have an impact in terms of the communication between people or social setting. Environmentally, it can have less negative effects to the environment in terms of its usage or manufacture. For instance, some people may put more value into a product if it creates less pollution to the environment when used or incorporates more recycled material in its production. This attribute exposes a designers concern for the positive and negative side effects of the production.


This attribute puts a great deal of focus on the person using the product. Another commonly used term in this category is human engineering. As that term implies, it is an applied science that greatly concerns the target users. It is a particularly important value opportunity in the workplace, such that its main intention is to maximize worker productivity by reducing fatigue and discomfort in the work environment. Should this attribute be fulfilled, it essentially means that it is providing a more pleasurable way of completing a task. There are three main groups in this attribute: ease of use, safety, and comfort.


For those who have desk jobs, the ergonomic chair has made a vast improvement in their working lifestyle. It allows one to sit and work at a desk for a long period of time with minimal discomfort.

Core Technology

With advancements being made everyday, technology is an important attribute to consider. Consumers and users will want to use products with the most up to date technology so that it can meet its expectations in terms of its contexts of use. Furthermore, it must at least meet the standards of competitors in order to capture the attention of consumers. Under this attribute, the core technology must be as enabling and reliable as possible.


Quality describes how well a product meets consumer satisfaction. Generally, a consumer would prefer to buy a well made product. To maintain this appeal to the users, a lot of focus is also put into the manufacturing process. Looking at the downstream work will allow designers to find faults and errors sooner, which in turn conserves a lot of time and money in reaching a final product of high quality. To achieve a high level of quality, designers must play close attention to craftsmanship and durability to ensure that a product fulfills the user's need.


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