Yasemin Canik

Managing user-centred design within startups developing new products

Yasemin Canik

Yasemin's research focuses on how start-ups developing new products manage user-centred design. Her dissertation is based on theories of knowledge boundaries and boundary objects. Her PhD is fully funded by Loughborough University. To contribute to her PhD research, she is also working as a Design and Marketing Officer in HSSMI.

Yasemin Canik holds the MSc degree in Design Innovation Management from Loughborough University London and her first degree is Industrial Design from Middle East Technical University, Turkey. She also attended a 6-month Erasmus programme in Politecnico di Torino that she studied Communication Design.

PhD research description

Even though user-centred design is very valuable for startups to develop better products that bring value to the market, whether startups are truly capable of driving this approach is an under-researched area. This PhD research addresses how to understand and improve the ways for startups to manage user-centred design for new product development (NPD). A conceptual framework based on crossing knowledge boundaries via boundary objects and user-centred design literature is proposed to address to the research question.

PhD supervisors

Yasemin is studying for her PhD in the Institute for Design Innovation, under the supervision of Dr Ida Telalbasic and Professor Mikko Koria.

Awards, grants or scholarships received


  • Jan 2017 - Dec 2020 | Fully-funded PhD studentship (university fee+monthly stipend), Loughborough University
  • Sep 2015 - Sep 2016 | Fully-funded MSc sponsorship, Ministry of Economy, Republic of Turkey

Design and Marketing awards

  • Oct 2015 | 3rd prize, in professional category, 2. Industrial Food Design Competition
  • Jun 2015 | Finalist, Industrial Designers Excellence Awards
  • Mar 2015 | 1st prize, Henkel Innovation Challenge, Turkey
  • Sep 2014 | 1st prize, in student category, 1. Industrial Food Design Competition
  • Jan 2014 | Finalist, Unilever Ideathropy, Turkey
  • Jun 2013 |3rd prize, Bizz@kampüs marketing competition, Ülker, Yildiz Holding

University awards

  • Sep 2016 | Gold award on Employability, Gradcore Employability Assessment Centre
  • Sep 2016 | Society of the year as Design Society, Student Union Loughborough University
  • Sep 2016 | Volunteer of the year as Design Society, Student Union Loughborough University

Papers, publications and articles

  • Canik, Y., Fain, N., Bohemia, E., Telalbasic, I., & Tewes, V. (2018). Integrating knowledge into innovation processes of R&D allisances. Paper presented at the 15th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik.
  • Canik, Y., Bohemia, E., & Telalbasic, I. (2017). Mapping coupled open innovation processes within an Innovation Institute using Activity Theory. Paper presented at the Design Management Academy 2017, Hong Kong Submitted Journal Papers
  • Rodriguez, M., Bohemia, E., & Canik, Y. (in Review). Startups’ Open Innovation Journeys With Large Companies: A Multiple Case Study. UCJC Journal
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