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Probing cultural differences in product design and consumer evaluation using repertory grid analysis

Tang, Pinyan; Lawson, Glyn; Sun, Xu; Sharples, Sarah

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Pinyan Tang

Associate Professor

Xu Sun

Professor of Human Factors


Culture plays an essential role in the success of product design, especially in the age of a global economy where there is a high probability of discrepancy between the designer's intention and the consumer's response. However, the role of culture is often challenging to identify and measure. In the current paper, we employed Repertory Grids (RG) to investigate differences in UK and Chinese participants' evaluations of designs, which were themselves from both UK and Chinese students. The techniques of Honey's Content Analysis (HCA) and Principal Components Analysis (PCA) were applied to integrate the analysis of both the collected qualitative and quantitative data. The results show that the two groups tended to focus on a similar range of design aspects (i.e. aesthetics, form/shape, usability, creativity, and functionality), but apply different criteria in evaluating such aspects.The UK and Chinese designs were found to be distinctive from each other and tended to appeal more to the people from the same cultural background. The findings reveal the interplay between culture and design and underline the importance of integrating culture into design education.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 25, 2021
Online Publication Date Apr 7, 2021
Publication Date 2022-07
Deposit Date Mar 26, 2021
Publicly Available Date Apr 8, 2022
Journal International Journal of Technology and Design Education
Print ISSN 0957-7572
Electronic ISSN 1573-1804
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Pages 1875-1894
Keywords product design; consumer evaluation; culture; repertory grid; cross-cultural comparison 2
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