THE INFLUENCE OF CONSUMER RESEARCH ON PRODUCT AESTHETICS
Although consumer research activities are often described in relation to functionality and usability, the influence of consumer research on product aesthetics has received comparatively little attention. To address this issue, a qualitative study was undertaken exploring the influence of consumer research on the visual form of products. After describing the nature of the study, this paper outlines the process of consumer research as it applies to design. There then follows discussion of how consumer research directly influences product aesthetics and how it exerts further influence by shaping the politics of designer-client relationships. Finally, there is discussion of the barriers that prevent or limit the application of consumer research and the challenges that are encountered in applying its findings to the aesthetic aspects of design.