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A concise and quantified specification is essential to developing suitable product concepts. This article describes an integrated set of structured methods for identifying the customer population for the product and developing a representation of feature demands. The structured methods include design task probing, customer needs analysis, functional decomposition, and competitive benchmarking for directly mapping customer statements to functional requirements.

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Kevin N. Otto, Kristin L. Wood, Conceptual and Configuration Design of Products and Assemblies, Materials Selection and Design, Vol 20, ASM Handbook, Edited By George E. Dieter, ASM International, 1997, p 15–32,

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