Title: Aesthetic consequences of making car exteriors visually robust to geometrical variation

Authors: Karin Forslund, Rikard Soderberg

Addresses: Department of Product and Production Development, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96, Goteborg, Sweden. ' Department of Product and Production Development, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96, Goteborg, Sweden

Abstract: Geometrical variation, stemming from the manufacturing process, can have negative effects on a car|s visual quality appearance (VQA) – the quality impression it conveys to a customer visually. Visually robust product design aims to dampen the effects of variation on the customer|s product experience. Early evaluation of visual robustness can minimise the risk of launching products with poor VQA or for increased costs and late changes during the product realisation process. A method has been developed to evaluate the visual robustness of car exteriors. Design solutions on existing cars were photographed, classified and analysed in order to investigate the relationship between their visual design properties and their visual robustness. In addition, a web-survey performed indicates that visual robustness can be achieved without necessarily compromising the other aesthetic qualities embedded in a design concept. The proposed method enables concept comparison and evaluation regarding visual robustness and can be adapted to various contexts.

Keywords: perceived quality; geometrical variation; robust design; craftsmanship; visual quality appearance; visual robustness; product aesthetics; car exteriors; automotive exteriors; vehicle exteriors; automobile industry; product design.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2010.032609

Journal of Design Research, 2010 Vol.8 No.3, pp.252 - 271

Available online: 08 Apr 2010 *

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