Methods for Conceptualizing Product Service Networks (PSS 101) was about developing a framework of methods, techniques and tools that improves conceptualization and communication between all those involved in design and development, across industries.

Products are no longer just products, Services not only services. Take Océ; once they used to sell printers.. and now they ‘support document management across different departments.’ Exact, well known for its Financial and Administrative software, now produces business service systems for SMEs, enabling them to integrally support and manage their business, including relationship management.

This type of thinking requires new design and development structures, moving people out of their traditional compartments, meeting the needs of an often diverse and evolving group of end-users. Product Service Systems (PSS) are designed in highly dynamic network environments, mixing people and parties, models, interests and goals.

What questions were answered?
Teams from TU Delft, the Design Academy Eindhoven and Industry partners were working together to answer the questions:

What are the demands that networks of users impose on providers of PSS?
How can the provider cope with the organizational changes needed?
In which way can networks of Creative industries facilitate this process?

What have the teams achieved?
A Framework and Toolset that will help design-partners better understand the needs, values and ambitions of end-users in their networks. Together they have formulated a shared vision for a PSS proposition, leading to a documented, context-driven PSS concept.

Timeframe and communication:
PSS 101 startedin 2011 and finished in 2015. Throughout the project, we have communicate information and results via this website, Master Classes, and Workshops. We have organized an annual event for the creative industries, and integrated our findings into educational programmes.

Who was involved?
Scientific partners: Delft University of Technology and the Design Academy Eindhoven;
Creative and Industry partners: STBY, 4C-MG, Exact, Oce industries and Zuidzorg

Project leaders
Dr. Ingrid Mulder, Delft University of Technology
Prof. Dr. Pieter Jan Stappers, Delft University of Technology


  • Making the office catch up: comparing interaction qualities at home and at work Liu, W., Stappers, P. J., Pasman, G. & Taal Fokker, J. An interview toolkit was used to sensitize them to the subject of interaction qualities, experiences, and demands of future ways of working. This study resulted in a set of design guidelines, aiming to support Generation Y interactions in future office work. Download
  • Interactive pong: exploring ways of user inputs through prototyping with sensors Liu, W., Stappers, P. J., Pasman, G., van der Helm, A., Aprile, W. & Keller, I. This study aimed to explore ways of user inputs through designing interactive game controllers with different type of sensor. From building four experiential prototypes on Pong, we learned to drive design by focusing on interaction qualities, which determine the use of sensors. We found that the interaction qualities together as a set offer a way to design aesthetics of behavior in interaction.  Download
  • YPhone: Applying generation Y interactions into an office context Liu, W., Stappers, P. J., Pasman, G. & Taal Fokker, J. A novel office phone, YPhone, is conceptually designed to present new ways of interacting in office work.  Download
  • Evaluating generation Y interaction qualities in an office work context This study presents evaluations conducted with a working prototype in practice. The goal of these evaluations was to both evaluate the prototype and to find out what effect a new tool can have on the office workers’ interaction behavior. Download
  • Exploring `Generation Y' interaction qualities at home and at work describes and analyzes two interview studies conducted with office workers to consider how they perceive, experience and compare interaction qualities. Download
  • Designing Generation Y Interaction by Eliciting Interaction Qualities Liu, W., Stappers, P. J., Pasman, G. & Taal Fokker, J. This paper describes the development of a novel office phone, YPhone, which demonstrates the application of a specific set of interaction qualities into the context of office work. Download


YPhone is a prototype of a tool for office workers to experience Generation Y interaction qualities in their work contexts. It is a device that can be placed on a work desk, employing a clean, neutral and inviting style of industrial design. It is built up from three structural components: 1) an earphone and a surface on which the user interacts directly, 2) a technical unit in the phone containing all the technical components and 3) a construction holding the interface and the components. For transportation and maintenance YPhone can be separated in these structural elements. The footprint of YPhone is 150 mm long by 110 mm wide. The front height of YPhone is 12 mm and the back height is 32. It was a conscious choice to design the prototype to be smaller than typical office phones according to user research.
This concept employs a clean, neutral and inviting style of industrial design, having a smooth phone body (user interface). A magnetic sliding ball is embedded in a slot in front of the phone. A magnetic earphone stands on the top of the phone. When receiving an urgent mood (call), the phone shows caller’s name, glows and plays ringtone intensely. Table 5.6 shows user interactions, phone behaviors and corresponding interaction qualities, which are integrated in the prototype.
In making this technical prototype, previous experiences with technology were used. YPhone relies for the most part on proven technological components. YPhone is controlled by a (laptop) computer, which connects all the components and runs software for the user-phone interactions. YPhone’s main circuit boards were custom-made. Another custom-made component is a data transmitter. It consists of a circuit board, four Internet cable sockets, one power socket and one USB port that measure power and send a signals to the main circuit boards. Cables used in YPhone are standard commercial solutions and standard Internet and USB cables without adaptations.
All the software for YPhone was written in Max/MSP (2014). The software controls a pair of YPhones using the standard set of objects available with Max/MSP, e.g., bytestuff and metro. The software on YPhone has eight different transition states in which different features of YPhone are supported. They are standby, dial pad, user presence, phonebook, page turn left, page turn right, normal call and urgent call.