Design process starts with customer needs identification. With companies ’ shifting attention from the traditional emphasis on manufacturing capabilities to customer centric, connecting customer into the design process becomes an important issue. This paper presents a systematic approach to connect customers in the product design and development process based on Axiomatic Design. It includes methodologies to capture customer needs, bring different levels of customer needs into the same level of abstraction in the form of product attributes, and prioritize those needs. Customers ’ needs can then be mapped into the functional requirements (FR) domain. Based on the proposed approach, manufacturers are able to provide a platform for customers to directly participate in product design and get products that suit their personal preferences, which is termed as Design by Customer. Design by Customer provides not only an effective means to cater to individual customers ’ needs but also an avenue to systematically connect customers into the design process
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