Impacts of Geometrical Manufacturing Quality on the Visual Product Experience
Karin Forslund, MariAnne Karlsson, Rikard Söderberg


Geometrical variation, stemming from the manufacturing process, can distort the intended appearance of a product. When adapting a proposed design to manufacture, decisions need to be made on what geometrical deviations can be accepted on a final product. However, little research has been conducted to understand their actual impacts on the product experience. A study is presented, where we investigate differences between consumer assessments of photographs of products with a prominent geometrical deviation and equivalent products with good geometrical quality. The results show that for products perceived as having high industrial design emphasis, poor manufacturing quality can influence a number of quality-related assessments. However, product aesthetics was not influenced by geometrical deviations, indicating that product aesthetics is primarily judged based on what is interpreted as the intended design. The interpretation of producer intent is demonstrated as a key factor determining consequences of geometrical deviations. Further, it is suggested that the visual experiences of products with poor geometrical quality can be negatively affected without full consumer awareness.

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