Aesthetic Pleasure in Design









The Value of Transparency for Designing Product Innovations

Peiyao Cheng,  Ruth Mugge

Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands.

Keywords: consumer response; design intentions; product innovations; transparency.


Transparency is frequently used in product innovations for its special visual impacts and unique characteristic of providing more information. Providing effective information is crucial for consumers’ adoptions of product innovations. Yet, how the information provided through transparency influences consumer response has not been investigated so far. This study aims to fill in this gap by investigating the application of transparency in product innovations from designers’ and consumers’ perspectives. Through in-depth interviews with experienced designers (N=6), five design intentions of using transparency in product innovations are identified: influence look and feel, communicate information regarding product operations, demonstrate technology, show working process, and influence consumer experience. To validate these findings and explore consumer response, in-depth consumer interviews were conducted (N=13). Results revealed that these design intentions are fulfilled. Moreover, consumers mentioned more specific experience triggered by transparency: a sense of achievement, engagement, control, relief and discomfort. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Cheng and Mugge (2016). The Value of Transparency for Designing Product Innovations. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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