Semantic discontinuities: investigating designers' product expressions versus users' product impressions

Download
2015
Khalaj, Javad
The doctoral thesis investigates issues in design communication between a designer’s semantic intention and users’ initial experience of a product, with a focus on visual qualities. The starting argumentation is that there can exist a level of discontinuity between meanings as intended to be expressed (by the designer of a product) and meanings as actually construed (by target users of that product). The primary purpose of the research is to develop and implement a methodology to identify where, and to what extent, semantic discontinuities related to connotative meanings are present in product design. A new experimental ‘Semantic Expression/Impression Comparison’ method (SEIC method) is developed and implemented to explore the main subject of the thesis. The SEIC method is applied to an empirical study considering 3 chairs and 3 lamps, designed and produced by three well-known Swedish designers. In total, four data collection and analysis stages are presented: 1) designers’ intended visual expressions, 2) users’ initial visual impressions, 3) users’ evaluations of designers’ intended visual expressions, and 4) designers’ evaluations of users’ realized visual impressions. The qualitative approach to data analysis leads to the creation of Semantic Discontinuity Maps, revealing that designers are able to influence users’ product perceptions, in many cases being considerably successful in eliciting their intended product expressions. However, users’ overall impressions are not limited to only positive experience (as preferably intended by designers), but also include negative and indifferent experiences, which are usually outside of designers’ intentions or expectations. Quantitative analysis of semantic discontinuity data is used to generate Banded Discontinuity Profiles, showing that the studied designers are generally successful in maintaining semantic intent within close tolerances (76 %), but are unable to successfully communicate semantic intent in approximately one-in-four instances (24%). A follow-up micro-analysis is presented and used to illuminate whereabouts design effort should be placed to better realize semantic intent through product visual form.

Suggestions

Visual structures for generative design search spaces /
Abbas, Günsu Merin; Gürsel Dino, İpek; Baykan, Ahmet Can; Department of Architecture (2014)
With the adoption of computational strategies in design, the act of design, the process of problem solving, and the interaction, understanding and the representation of design artefacts has changed. With generative design methods, the understanding of design as artefact gives way to design as process. Generative methods entail multiple design solutions, which enlarge the design search space due to the large number of possible design solutions. Regarding the automated design generation process, the interacti...
The dimensions of users' fun experiences with consumer products
Cila, Nazlı; Erbuğ, Çiğdem; Department of Industrial Design (2008)
User experience (UX) is a multi-dimensional user-product interaction involving positive and emotional usage. Fun experience is a component of UX which maintains distinctive dimensions. In this study these dimensions of the fun concept, namely the nature of the experience, the qualities of products that take place in the experience, and the emotional content of the fun experiences are investigated. The thesis is supported by arguments collected from the literature and the data from two empirical studies.
Integrating 3D physical and digital modeling into 3D form creation in industrial design education
Öztürk Şengül, Mehtap; Hasdoğan, Gülay Fatma; Department of Industrial Design (2016)
Digital design media have entered in the design field in the course of the last couple of decades and have rapidly changed the way of practicing in design related professions. As part of this change, digital modeling has taken its place among the basic skills that an industrial designer is expected to have. As a cognitive activity, modeling plays very significant roles in the form creation related skill acquisition processes in design education. Therefore an urgent need for new approaches for the integratio...
Guidelines for a materials selection source for industrial design activity : a survey on the expectations of Turkish designers
Karana, Elvin; Hasdoğan, Gülay Fatma; Department of Industrial Design (2004)
This thesis focuses on the material selection process in industrial design activity and existing material selection sources particularly used by industrial designers. Therefore, in this study, the knowledge about materials the designers need, and materials selection sources and the methods they use are explored. The aim is, to propose guidelines for a materials selection source basing on the designers̕ needs and expectations from such a guide. The thesis consists of a critical review of the literature on ex...
Exploring the potentials of virtual reality technology for user evaluation of a shunter locomotive driver cabin
Topcuoğlu, Oğuzhan; Töre Yargın, Gülşen; Department of Industrial Design (2018)
User evaluation is an important phase of vehicle design process. To evaluate a design, it needs to be presented to the user by using certain mediums such as physical prototypes, simulations, software analyses, or virtual prototypes. However, physical representation mediums, such as physical prototypes and simulations, have several disadvantages for user evaluation of large scale products like shunter locomotives. Primary disadvantage is that for such large products, physical prototypes and simulation setups...
Citation Formats
J. Khalaj, “Semantic discontinuities: investigating designers’ product expressions versus users’ product impressions,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.