Understanding and tailoring the visual elements of a developing product to evoke desired perceived qualities and a positive response from the consumer is a key challenge in industrial design. To date, computational approaches to assist this process have either relied on stiff geometric representations, or focused on superficial features that exclude often elusive shape characteristics. In this work, we aim to study the relationship between product geometry and consumers’ qualitative judgments through a visual decomposition and abstraction of existing products. At the heart of our investigation is a shape analysis method that produces a spectrum of abstractions for a given three-dimensional (3D) computer model. Our approach produces a hierarchical simplification of an end product, whereby consumer response to geometric elements can be statistically studied across different products, as well as across the different abstractions of one particular product. The results of our case study show that consumer judgments formed by coarse product “impressions” are strongly correlated with those evoked by the final production models. This outcome highlights the importance of early geometric explorations and assessments before committing to detailed design efforts.
Gunay Orbay, Luoting Fu, Levent Burak Kara. (2015). Deciphering the Influence of Product Shape on Consumer Judgments Through Geometric Abstraction. Journal of Mechanical Design.