User-centric EA is based on business driving technology, rather than technology for technology’s sake.
An example of technology for technology’s sake:
Segway today is an example of technology for technology’s sake: The basic model has no weather protection or ability to carry family members or luggage. It is innovative and seems like it has a lot of untapped potential, but as of now, has not been aligned with the needs of its potential users.
Requirements should come first.
From a User-centric EA approach, rather than starting with hundreds of new technology patents, Dean Kamen the founder of Segway and his organization should have started with an ethnomethodological study of individual and social mobility and the requirements for the individual and society for transporting people and property under various environmental and personal situations.
There is an important place for innovation.
Mr. Kamen and Segway have developed some innovative and helpful technology: Segway has helped in the energy efficient and personal mobility marketplace. Segway has especially helped disabled people with its amazing stairclimbing technology. So certainly, there is a place for pure innovation and creativity by the engineering community, like the approach Segway has pursued. However, for Segway, the market penetration and potential for benefiting greater numbers of people remains somewhat at a distance.
In contrast to Segway’s pure engineering approach, in User-centric EA, innovation is critical, but user requirements are primary!