The role of design attributes in shaping users’ value assignment: the case of portable digital audio players

Gedikli, Damla
Users evaluate and assign value to products regarding several factors, one of which is design attributes. The attributes can provide certain consequences, which can, in turn, serve to users’ desires or ultimate goals in life. Value is attributed regarding the desirability of the sequential chain of attributes, consequences and goals. Considering value creation for the users as designers’ main responsibility; they should focus on how these chains are shaped while designing products. This study mainly concentrates on this relation between design attributes, the consequences these attributes provide, and the ultimate goals of users these consequences satisfy. Three main types of consequence and user goals, which are together called as value types, are identified in the literature: pragmatic, experiential and symbolic. How these value types can be provided by design attributes is examined both with literature review and a research on users’ pre-purchase value assignment to portable digital audio players. The research on portable digital audio players is conducted using laddering technique. After the interviews with 30 respondents, the value types identified in the literature review as pragmatic, experiential and symbolic value are supported by the data; and and an extension is suggested within the subgroups of experiential value. The salient design attributes that are valued at pre-purchase, and outstanding relations between designed attributes, consequences and user goals are identified.