Research Design Connections

Culture and Preferences (12-28-16)

Torelli and his colleagues researched links between preferred brands and culture.  They learned that “feelings of cultural distinctiveness–feelings of being different and separated from the surrounding cultural environment–influence consumers’ preferences for brands that symbolize a related cultural group (i.e., a group that is geographically proximal and/or shares socio-historical and cultural roots with one's own cultural group). . . .  consumers experiencing cultural distinctiveness are likely to evaluate favorably and prefer brands associated with a related cultural group. . . .

Evaluating Servicescapes (12-27-16)

Sheng and colleagues completed a comprehensive evaluation of servicescapes, the physical locations where services are provided.  They found “two . . . multidimensional servicescape satisfaction constructs—labeled perceived nestscape and surroundscape satisfaction. . . . Both perceived servicescape satisfaction constructs positively affected loyalty intentions. The direction of effects . . . was found to emanate from satisfaction with the larger surroundscape to satisfaction with the smaller nestscape rather than the opposite direction. . . .

Color and Willingness to Pay (12-23-16)

Lee and colleagues investigated the psychological implications of presenting images in full color or in black-and-white.  As they state, “participants’ visualization of the distant (vs. near) future is increasingly less colorful (i.e., more black and white). . . . marketing messages about distant (vs. near) future events lead to greater willingness to pay when presented alongside black-and-white (vs. color) images.”

Temperature and Taking Risks (12-22-16)

Syndicus, Wiese, and van Treeck studied how temperature influences decision making, finding that at warmer temperatures people seem to take more risks.  The team reports that when “two groups . . . completed the aforementioned tasks either in a warm (≥ 30°C) or neutral (≤ 25°C) ambient temperature condition. Participants made significantly riskier decisions in the warm ambient temperature condition. . . Especially elevated ambient temperatures should, therefore, be monitored in office environments to prevent impairments of decision making.”

Culture, Symbolism, and Design (12-21-16)

Blending cultural symbols in a single space or object can cause tension.  Yang and his team wondered “When and why do local communities display negative or exclusionary responses to mixing and blending of local and foreign cultural symbols in the same space or percept [whatever is being perceived]?” They found after working with study participants that were either America or Chinese that “the local community reacted most negatively to culture mixing when both objects were perceived to be icons or symbols of their culture of origin . . .

Young Children, Adults, and Responses to Music (12-20-16)

Franco, Chew, and Swaine report that young children and adults have similar emotional responses to music.  They state that as part of their study “novel child-directed music was presented in three conditions: instrumental, vocal-only, and song (instrumental plus vocals) to 3- to 6-year-olds.”  Music presented was categorized by the researchers as  “’happy’ (major mode/fast tempo) and ‘sad’ (minor mode/slow tempo) tracks.” Research with adults has tied feeling happy to hearing music in a major key with a fast tempo and feeling sad to hearing slow music in minor keys.  Also,  “Nonsense syllab

Neighborhood Conditions and Youth Health (12-19-16)

Voisin and Kim linked neighborhood conditions to the mental health and behaviors of African American youth.  They learned by analyzing data collected from “683 African American youth from low-income communities. . . . that participants who reported poorer neighborhood conditions [i.e. broken windows index] compared to those who lived in better living conditions were more likely to report higher rates of mental health problems, delinquency, substance use, and unsafe sexual behaviors.”

Store Design for Millennials (12-16-16)

Calienes and colleagues studied the design of stores that appeal to Millennials.  They report that  “the store's physical design plays a crucial role in whether a shopper enters a store and engages with a brand. The latest generation of shoppers, the millennials, are a powerful cohort representing 75.4 million individuals in 2016 and accounting for $200 billion in annual consumer spending.

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Research Conversations

Frank Lloyd Wright interior

Visual complexity is an important driver of experience.  Both too much and too little are bad for our mood and cognitive performance.  Neuroscience research reveals how to manage visual complexity, disorder, and clutter.
 

An engaging cubicle

“Engagement” is a hot topic—it’s being discussed by everyone from human resource managers to community organizers; boosting it is the goal of almost every group, regardless of size.   And the research is clear:  design can buoy users’ engagement with organizations, or not. 
 

Surveillance Sign

Want people to obey the rules, do the right thing, keep out of mischief and just generally, behave in socially acceptable ways?  Environmental neuroscientists have done a lot of research on how design can encourage space and object users to be on their best behavior—insights from their studies can be applied in practice.
 

Nest Chairs

The design of temporary nests make a real difference in humans’ lives.  The spaces people call “home” for short periods of time can constructively enrich experiences when thoughtfully and empathetically developed.

News Briefs

Stadium-style seating

Thinking changes with a tip of the head
 

Aligning project phases with working conditions expedites creativity

Too little is too bad

Bright, uniform, and overhead prevail

An outcome to be avoided

Color saturation influences perceptions

Opportunities affect responses

Book Reviews

Reviews fractals and their role in design, for the mathematically inclined reader

Design at Work

PawsWay1

The design of Purina’s PawsWay center in Toronto boosts the mood—and wellbeing—of all of its users, regardless of species.