Expert review

An expert review is where those considered being independently qualified about a specific aspect of a product or service can provide advice. An expert in this field may include a consultant surgeon, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, bioengineer, psychologist or ergonomist. They will investigate the specification of a given product design or service. Examples of what points to consider and how to display findings may be seen in consumer survey magazines such as ‘Which’. The magazine, published by the Consumers Association, regularly reviews a range of domestic products.

Taxonomies (look-up tables) of product characteristics can be evaluated quickly with the help of expert opinions. The expert can provide a value or metric against which performance may be measured.

Expert review can be used when a quick answer to a specific question is required in order to progress a new product design development. It may also be used to double-check/validate a new design or specification. The use of experts can speed up a design process and offer an audit trial for the validation of decisions made. This can be helpful if there are safety critical decisions relating to the product or service.

Using qualified experts can be very expensive and should always be considered as only a specific part of an answer within a new product development. (Wilson et al 1995: 423)

Useful links

Cohen, L., L.Mannion, and K.Morrison 2007. Research methods in education. 6th ed. London, New York: Routledge.

Torrens, GE (2011) Universal Design: empathy and affinity. In Karwowski, W, Soares, M, M, Stanton, A, N, Eds, (ed) Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics in Consumer Products, CRC Press, pp.233-248 Available at: (, Accessed: [7/11/2015]

Wilson, J. R., and E. N. Corlett. 1995. Evaluation of human work: A practical ergonomics methodology. 2nd ed. London: Taylor & Francis.