Multisensory product development

DS 87-8 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 8: Human Behaviour in Design, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Fels, Antonia; Falk, Björn; Schmitt, Robert
Series: ICED
Institution: RWTH Aachen, Germany
Section: Human Behaviour in Design
Page(s): 069-078
ISBN: 978-1-904670-96-4
ISSN: 2220-4342


The sensory design of products plays an important role in the customer’s overall assessment of quality. While sensory design comprises of visual, acoustic and haptic aspects, the combination of these aspects and hence the multisensory product design becomes increasingly important. However, for a successful realization of a multisensory design, the human cognition and multisensory perception has to be considered. In this paper, the phenomenon of multisensory enhancement as well as dissonance owing to sensory mismatch was examined by means of an empirical study with 98 test persons. The use case of aged products was investigated. It was hypothesized that (1) products are perceived older if aged equally regarding all primary senses and (2) the perception of harmony suffers from sensorially dissimilar aged products. Using a Maximum-Likelihood-Estimation as a reference value for the multisensory product age, the first hypothesis could be confirmed through a statistical analysis. However, the second hypothesis had to be rejected for this empirical setup, i.e. sensorially mismatching products were not perceived less harmoniously.

Keywords: Multisensory product experience, Case study, Emotional design, Perceived quality


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