From telephones to iPhones: Applying systems thinking to networked, interoperable products

Guy H. Walker, Neville A. Stanton, Daniel P. Jenkins, Paul M. Salmon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    An expanding array of consumer products have the facility to have things added in and plugged on, their firmware upgraded, and as yet un-thought of future capability supported. In short, more and more products can be connected to something and/or someone, and in doing so are slowly adapting to the current day state of modernity that is called 'the information age'. Inevitably, this brings with it changes in the way that products should be thought about and designed. The purpose of this paper is to try and help product designers and Ergonomists to get a grip on all the complexity and non-linearity that the information age brings with it, and help make themselves and their increasingly networked and interoperable products at home in it. Our case study, Apple's new iPhone, serves as a pertinent example. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)206-215
    Number of pages10
    JournalApplied Ergonomics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


    • Sociotechnical systems theory
    • Product design
    • Mobile phones


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