A study of User preference for the Visual domain of product form

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There are new opportunities in Design practice and research that are emerging in the Indian markets today as a result of the dramatic shift in government policy since the early Nineties. Liberalization of the Indian economy has led to major transformations in the economic environment of business and commerce. Competition is felt with global players entering Indian markets and Indian industries have had to remodel their approaches to meet these challenges. Foreign companies seeking opportunities in Indian markets are faced with challenges of understanding the diverse culture of India. What is obvious is an urgent need to understand the ethos and aspirations of the Indian customer and make changes in management strategies, including design and communication which meet these dynamic changes. This implicitly means understanding regional and cultural factors that influence taste. It becomes an important consideration to study this phenomenon in the context of its influence on design and its implication on business. Design researches that involve cultural responsiveness and its influence on business therefore need to be looked at with a fresh perspective. The study of the Indian user, the cultural values and taste in purchase decisions are increasingly being examined through surveys. While recent studies undertaken by marketing research focus on the Indian consumer, particular studies in methods that examine the preference pattern in the domain of ‘Visual aspects’ of product form are hardly in vogue. This aspect is of particular interest to the industrial designer and forms an important consideration in the creation and innovation of new products for the market. Consumer preference in visual aspects is the focus of design research in this thesis. The thesis presents a design method that attempts to find the users’ preference pattern for the visual aspects of a product.
Supervisor: K. Ramachandran