Categories of Visual Quality Cues
Paper in proceedings, 2007
An industrial design concept can be adapted to manufacture and assembly by striving for visual design properties that are economical and time-efficient to produce according to specifications. One aspect of this is to assess whether the concept will be visually sensitive to distortions in structure, form, colour, gloss and texture. Visual appearance problems are often unrelated to the actual quality or functionality of a product. In the eyes of the customer, they may however serve as intrinsic quality cues, perceptions of quality attributes acquired by observing the product before purchase. Through interviews conducted at an automobile company and a mobile telecom company, factors considered important for the visual quality appearance of their products were identified. These factors are divided into groups, and examples are given. The result is an overview of visual quality appearance aspects, which demonstrates that design for perceived quality can be a trade-off between quality cues as deliberately placed styling features and quality cues stemming from complex assembly variation conditions.