design research

Distance in Views (11-13-20)

Kent and Schiavon studied items seen through windows.  They report that when they used images “to represent window views. . . . results showed that people are more satisfied when features are far away. . . . occupants prefer urban features to be viewed from a distance, whereas this same recommendation does not apply for nature.. . .  While distant visual content has the additional benefit of providing visual relief, it may not always be possible to provide these types of window views.

Disorder and Downsizing (11-12-20)

Ross, Meloy, and Bolton studied how disorder influences de-cluttering.  The team found that when they “investigate[d] how dis/order (messy vs. tidy items) affects downsizing [they found], across nine focal studies, that a) consumers retain fewer items when choosing from a disorder set because b) order facilitates the comparisons within category that underlie the tendency to retain items. . . .

Sensory Interrelationships (11-09-20)

Research by Jin, Jin, and Kang confirms that there are complex interrelationships between our sensory experiences.  The trio probed how hearing various sounds at different volumes influences perceived environmental temperatures.  They determined via a lab-based study that “acoustic evaluations were significantly higher for birdsong and slow-dance music than for dog barking, conversation, and traffic sound. . . .

Sound Management (11-05-20)

Walsh and de la Fuente assessed how people manage their at-home acoustic experiences and the repercussions of those actions.  The researchers report that they “propose that home and homeliness [hominess] pertain to the degree to which we can control our auditory involvements with the world and with others. What we term ‘homely listening’ concerns the use of music to make oneself feel at home, in some cases, through seclusion and immersion, and, in others, through either the musical ordering of mundane routines or the use of music to engage in sociality with others. . . .

Chocolate Design (11-04-20)

Researchers investigated how to increase the sales appeal of chocolate; it seems likely that lessons learned are relevant to the promotion of other, similar goods.  Brown, Hopfer, and Bakke determined that  “Gold foil, ornate labels and an intriguing backstory are product characteristics highly desired by premium chocolate consumers. . . . [when assessing product options presented to them, participants] focused more on extrinsic cues, such as packaging, rather than intrinsic cues, such as flavor, to judge product quality.

Workplace Design and Activity (11-03-20)

Zhu and colleagues conducted a literature review and report on how the design of the physical work environment, at three different scales, can boost physical activity (PA) among employees.  For example, “At the workstation scale, sit-stand desks, treadmill desks, and stationary high desks were found to reduce SB [sedentary behavior] and increase standing. Work building scale is relatively understudied, and reported correlates include staircase design, overall building design combining multiple PA-friendly strategies, and specific PA amenities (e.g., exercise facilities).

Updating Home Design (11-02-20)

Kolomatsky reviews a recent survey by the American Institute of Architects (of individual architects and custom-home building/renovation firms) regarding trends influencing home design.  As he reports, “special-function rooms and products that serve needs particular to the pandemic [are] rising in popularity. . . .  68 percent of respondents cited increasing client requests for home offices, and none reported a decrease. . . . enhanced or ‘task’ lighting, also gained popularity. . . .

Retail Displays (10-30-20)

Gonzalez, Meyer, and Toldos identified links between gender and responses to online retail displays; it is possible that their findings can also be applied in other contexts.  The research trio report that their “study suggests a potential influence of rich contextual product displays, relative to plain white backgrounds. The results of five studies reveal that the product usage context influences purchase intentions among female customers. Women and men differ in their decision-making processes and evaluate different attributes and benefits prior to purchase.

Virtual Reality and Scent (10-29-20)

Scents can enhance virtual experiences. Flavian and colleagues report that “Our experiences are constructed by the stimulation of all our senses. . . . This study analyzes how the addition of ambient scent to a VR experience affects digital pre-experiences in a service context (tourism). Results from a laboratory experiment confirmed that embodied VR devices, together with pleasant and congruent [consistent with experience] ambient scents, enhance sensory stimulation, which . . .influence affective [emotional] and behavioral reactions. . . . Using scents in closed, public spaces (e.g.

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