Conference article

Towards An Internet Based Visual Tool for Communication with Consumers in Early Phases of Product Development Process

Per Kristav
Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Lena Sperling
Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Anders Warell
Institute of Design for Industry and Environment, School of Design, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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Published in: 10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 26:112, p.

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Published: 2008-02-15


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


Consumers of today demand more from products than functionality also emotional needs are also to be fulfilled (Jordan; 2000). While the importance of consumer input to product development is of increasing significance; participation of end-users is still limited due; in part; to confidential issues. Consumer involvement that effectively influences product design is rare in Swedish industrial design consultancies; as user studies are often experienced as being rigid and as obstacles for creativity (Christoforidou; 2004). Extensive processes for evaluating user preferences are often left uncompleted (Karlsson; 2006). Similar findings have been reported in England (Hasdogan; 1996).

Industrial companies often have insufficient information to take decisions regarding user requirements. In a smaller study of Swedish SME’s that were developing furniture and lighting products; it was found that requirements were often determined by the companies themselves (Wängelin; 2004). Hence; in manufacturing companies as well as design consultancies; there seems to be a need for easy-to-use; stimulating tools for communication with consumers in order to design appropriate and appealing products.

The objective of an ongoing research project is to develop a tool for elicitation of consumer experiences of visual product properties. The tool should be selfinstructional and suitable for use in a web based application to facilitate access to larger numbers of respondents through remote communication. In recent years; untraditional and exciting visual and game-like product emotion tools have entered the scene (Desmet; 2002). Surprisingly; few of these use internet to collect data. The aim of this paper is to describe the development of a tool intended for internet use; and to provide a vision of its experimental application in product development and design.


Product; Emotion; Tool; Visual; Mapping; Internet


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