Aesthetic Pleasure in Design









Measuring design typicality: a comparison of objective and subjective approaches

Stefan Mayer, Jan Landwehr

Goethe University, Germany

Keywords: car design; aesthetic liking; design typicality; processing fluency


Design typicality plays a major role in consumers’ reactions towards a product. Hence, assessing a product design’s typicality is vital to predicting consumers’ responses to a design. However, directly asking people for their subjective typicality experience may yield a biased measure as the rating arguably contains the overall aesthetic impression of the product. Against this background, we introduce four unbiased objective measures of design typicality (two based on feature points and two based on grids) and demonstrate their capability of capturing the subjective typicality experience. We validate the proposed measures in the context of automobile designs with ratings of aesthetic liking, processing fluency, and cumulative sales data by analysing 77 car models from four segments ranging from subcompact cars to SUVs. Our findings endorse the general notion that objective measures should be included in product design research; and the proposed objective approaches provide convenient means to easily assess design typicality. 

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

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Cite this paper: Mayer, S and Landwehr, J. (2016). Measuring design typicality – a comparison of objective and subjective approaches. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

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