Consumers’ concepts of materials

Beaver, Shayne (2010) Consumers’ concepts of materials. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


User needs and wants dictate the way in which products are designed, produced, used and disposed of. Western society in particular has become very consumer driven and the waste resulting from such activity has the potential to be disastrous. The creation of emotional attachment with possessions is one way of approaching sustainable consumer-product relationships. The aim of this research was to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction and emotional attachment that consumers have and develop with their products. It outlines literature relating to consumer emotion and experience in relation to products, and how pleasurable product user relationships can be prolonged. It is evident from the literature that the roles of materials in the emotional attachment consumers have with products needed to be further explored. A study was conducted to determine consumers. concepts of six materials currently used in product design. This involved participants being given a Concept Prompt Probe with textual prompts to assist in discussion about the materials in question. The discussions between the 15 participant groups of two people, one male and one female, were then transcribed and coded ready for analysis. The study findings demonstrate consumers. concepts of the six materials. The findings show both physical and emotional consumer concepts of the materials. It is, however, the interaction of these concepts that is the most significant finding of this research. Each material concept is not only judged emotionally by consumers in its own right but in relation to other concepts as well. The interaction of the consumers. concepts of materials can considerably effect the emotional judgement made about the material and the appropriateness of its application. This research makes a significant contribution to knowledge regarding the effect materials have on the consumers by identifying how materials can prompt emotional judgements and thereby alter the product user experience.

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ID Code: 38629
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Popovic, Vesna & Blackler, Alethea
Keywords: design, product design, product experience, user concepts, materials, material selection, durability, emotion
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 17 Nov 2010 05:40
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:00

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