Modern upsurges of innovative technologies and sciences such as the internet of things, machine learning, cheap sensor technology and cloud computing have yielded new opportunities in the area of engineering design. This paper examines the state of the art of the fuzzy front end of engineering design in capturing customer and market information through ethnography and associated techniques. The reviewed range of technologies involve multimedia capture of ethnography, data analytics, as well as traditional researcher led approaches. Intelligent ethnography is presented as an expansion to customer analytics in the offline field, to capitalise on these developments. As a result of this study, market and design teams will better understand how to capture the voice of customer, design data and market data to push for ever more relevant products and technologies. Finally, a new application named inferred engineering has been identified as a fuzzy front end evidence based ideation technique.

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