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Multisensory User Experience Design of Consumer Products

By Monica Bordegoni, Umberto Cugini and Francesco Ferrise

Abstract

In recent years, the production of consumer goods has exceeded that of industrial products. This has led to changes in the areas of design and production. The target users of industrial products (in the Business to Business—B2B market) are industries that decide to purchase a product on the basis of its technical features, functions and performance. Differently, the target users of consumer products (in the Business to Consumer—B2C market) are the consumers who choose a product driven by other aspects, besides features and functions, such as the perceived value, the expected benefits, the emotions elicited, as well as features and functions. This has brought a paradigm shift in the design process. And in fact, the design of consumer products is increasingly focusing on the so-called user experience. The designer must not design only the product, but also the user experience in relation to its use. The resulting product should have a high perceived value and generate positive emotions in the consumer. These factors make a successful product on the market. Therefore, the role of the designer is designing the products and the perceptual aspects of their use, that is, designing the user experience and deriving from that the products’ specifications. Consequently to that, the design process has changed in the last years. In fact, the user is now at the center of the design process, named user-centered design. Being the new focus the target users, the evaluation of their interaction with the new designed products is expected to be rigorous and systematic. An efficient approach has proved to be one in which the validation is made up by involving users in the early stages of the product design. Since typically at the level of the concept the product, or a prototype that is comparable with it at the perceptual level, is not available, it is not possible to make a thorough validation of its use with users. However, new methodologies of Virtual Prototyping allow us to simulate multisensory user interaction with product concepts early in the design process. This chapter introduces the use of interactive Virtual Prototyping (iVP) methodology for the design of the user experience with the concept of a new product. Interactive components of new products and their behavior are simulated through functional models, and users can experience them through multisensory Virtual Reality (VR) technologies

Publisher: 'Springer Science and Business Media LLC'
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1007/978-1-4471-4984-2_14
OAI identifier: oai:re.public.polimi.it:11311/715547
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