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Which senses dominate at different stages of product experience?

By Anna Fenko, Hendrik N.J. Schifferstein and Paul Hekkert

Abstract

<p>In the area of product design, sensory dominance can be defined as the relative importance of different sensory modalities for product experience. Since product experience is multisensory, it is interesting to know which sensory modality plays a leading role in a particular experience, so that designers could concentrate on the creation of the most relevant product properties. It is often assumed that vision dominates other senses. In the present study, we investigated the importance of different sensory modalities during various episodes of product usage. We asked 120 respondents to describe their experiences with consumer products in the following situations: while buying a product, after the first week, the first month, and the first year of usage. The data suggest that the dominant modality depends on the period of product usage. At the moment of buying, vision is the most important modality, but at later stages other modalities become more important. The dominance of a particular modality may depend on its appropriateness for the particular task. During long-term usage, modality importance depends on product functions and the characteristics of the user-product interaction. We conclude that to create a long-lasting positive product experience, designers need to consider the user-product interaction at different stages of product usage and to determine which sensory modality dominates product experience at each stage. </p> <p> <strong>Keywords:</strong> <br /> Sensory Dominance; User-Product Interaction; Product Design</p

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:shura.shu.ac.uk:466

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