A comparative analysis of designers’ intended messages and users’ perceived messages embodied in product appearance

Khalaj, Javad
This study discusses product form perception within the context of communication. The emphasis is on meanings attributed to product visual form, and more specifically the correspondence between messages designers intend users to receive and the messages that users actually receive. Four groupings of appearance-based product attributes are identified; 1) social values and positions; 2) usability and interaction; 3) visual qualities; and 4) personality characteristics. The study was driven by the main research question; ‘do users perceive the same meaning from product appearance as designers intended, or is there a level of mismatch?’. An empirical study was conducted using newly-designed Turkish seating furniture to investigate the relationship between designers’ and users’ ascription of meanings to products based on appearance, as a means to validate or refute opposing answers to the main research question. The results of the study reveal that there exist some considerable differences between designers’ intended messages and users’ perceived messages decoded from product visual form. The study suggests that designers perform less well at communicating product meanings related to two of the four groupings: usability and interaction, and personality characteristics. Accordingly, these are identified as priority areas for improved message transmission.


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In this thesis, product experiences were analyzed in human-product interaction context. The terminology to describe product experiences were gathered and grouped with the studies carried out during the thesis. The conceptual network of product experiences were attempted to be established by examining the stages of human-product interaction in the limitations of the studies. The gathered terminology was composed of both concrete and abstract product features. The abstract product features which are used for ...
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Tekmen, E. Anne Ferrell; Daloğlu, Ayşegül (Wiley, 2006-06-01)
This study examined the relationship between learners' incidental vocabulary acquisition and their level of proficiency, and between acquisition and word frequency in a text. Participants were Turkish learners of English at three proficiency levels. One reading text and four vocabulary tests were administered over a two-week period. Analyses of the data revealed that lexical gains from reading were significant for each group (p < .05). The higher proficiency groups were able to acquire more words than lower...
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Benli, Koray; Pedgley, Owaın Francıs; Department of Industrial Design (2015)
As a medium of interaction between users and products, the sound emitted by a product plays an important role in people's product experiences. However, in order to enhance user-product interaction, the design of auditory features of products is generally overlooked in the course of design process. This is in comparison with thesignificant effort spent by designers for the visual features of products. In this context, the purpose of this thesis is to explore the current and future practice of product sound d...
Citation Formats
J. Khalaj, “A comparative analysis of designers’ intended messages and users’ perceived messages embodied in product appearance,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2009.