ACADEMIC SOURCE: BEYOND FORM AND FUNCTION: WHY DO CONSUMERS VALUE PRODUCT DESIGN?

Kumar, Minu, “Beyond form and function: Why do consumers value product design?,” Journal of business research 2, no.69 (2016): 613-620.

This paper aims to better understand how consumers interpret product design through a value-based lens, addressing;

“Why do consumers value product design when they first interact with it? What is the nature and potential dimensionality of product design value to the consumer, and how can each dimension be measured?”.

Through two qualitative studies, the results found that along with the two value dimensions of form and function (consistent with previous literature of product design), a third self-expressive (social and altruistic) dimension emerged creating what was termed a SAFE (social, altruistic, functional, and aesthetic) value scale. The study also presented the importance of discerning consumers of low/high design acumen as the difference in perception of product design value for products embedded with greater (lesser) design value (SAFE) will be greater (lesser) for individuals with higher (lower) design acumen."

All information is provided into how the studies are conducted to allow the reader to apply the theory, I however, found the scoring system from the studies difficult to follow but understood the basic results through in text explanation. This paper is important to how product design is received and what value is perceived by the consumer. It outlines that products wanting to communicate altruistic value should carefully consider how their target audience (consumers with high design acumen) reflect on the dimensions of products. As I hope to embed my product with more than just better from and function but with dimensions of social and altruistic value, by applying the theory presented in the paper my product design will better communicate these values.