Study on Cultural Differences of Users’ Perception towards Shape Characteristics

Weihu Lu
School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China

Vanja Čok
LECAD Laboratory, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Rupeng Zhu
School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China

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Ingår i: KEER2014. Proceedings of the 5th Kanesi Engineering and Emotion Research; International Conference; Linköping; Sweden; June 11-13

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 100:95, s. 1135-1146

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Publicerad: 2014-06-11

ISBN: 978-91-7519-276-5

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


In the recent marketplace; it’s necessary but no longer sufficient to offer a good functioning product. The emotional quality of products plays an important role for differential advantage. Particularly; globalized markets mean more intense competition than ever before. Understanding the users’ real emotional needs in different cultures is becoming a key strategy for the adaptation of products in overseas market. This proposed study elicits insights on cultural differences between European and Asian values and investigates how these affect user’s reaction to designed products. Two experimental studies of products’ emotional quality are carried out on European and Asian participants via Semantic Differential Method: one case is conducted with the shape contours (pellet burners) represented by Europeans and South Asians (Indian) respectively for the investigation of their shape preferences; another case is organized with prototype model defined with geometrical design attributes (eyeglasses frames) represented by Europeans and East Asians (Chinese) respectively in order to reveal the structure of shape meaning comprehension. After conducting statistical analysis; the result of this study helps to improve user satisfaction both within national and overseas markets. It’s useful for designers to identify and emphasize these shape features of new products which will stimulate the positive responses to required user preferences.


Cultural differences; Kansei Engineering; Semantic Differential Method; shape.


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