Industrial design and the mass customization of electronic consumer goods

Kayğın Sel, Sultan
Mass customization is promoted in manufacturing industry as a way to satisfy individual customer requirements in a flexible, efficient and cost effective way. However, mass customization within the specific sector of ‘electronic consumer goods’ is relatively underdeveloped, whilst the contributions of industrial designers to mass customization remain quite unclear. This research redresses both of these issues, elaborating on the possibilities of mass-customization in the electronic consumer goods sector, and explaining how industrial designers can take a central role in implementation. Chapter 2 contains a literature review on key terms related to mass customization. A portfolio of mass customization case studies, from both within and outside electronic consumer goods, are presented and analyzed in Chapter 3, which also reports on a new classification system to define six discrete customization types. User needs research methods, including IDEO methods, are reviewed in Chapter 4 to determine those methods most applicable for use in the pilot (Chapter 5) and main (Chapter 7) ‘research through design’ customization projects. The pilot project, conducted with METU industrial design undergraduates, explored opportunities and barriers for mass customization of electronic consumer goods; the main project, carried out by the Vestel ID Team under the SAN-TEZ scheme, resulted in a new mass customized all-in-one (AIO) PC for Vestel Electronics. In Chapter 6, results of interviews with Vestel staff are presented, uncovering the current situation within Vestel Electronics for implementing mass customization. Chapter 8 contains the research conclusions, including discussion of a proposed design-based mass customization design and development procedure.