A method of industrial design consumer research with the use of computer-generated virtual research environments.
Industrial design is one of the main sources of competitive advantage of companies. At the same time, according to data from the Institute of Industrial Design, although almost 86% of Polish companies believe that the investment in design is cost effective, only 5% can evaluate the decision to take the risk of such an investment. One reason for this is lack of methods to assess the effectiveness of design, including specialized consumer research.
Therefore, the primary objective of this project is to develop a test applicationwhich allows to carry relatively low-cost, rapid and massive consumer research on industrial design prototypes.
Project funded by a grant NCBiR number ”N R11 0016 10″ is implemented by the Department of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Laboratory of Virtual Reality (VRlab). The creation of R&D unit dedicated to conducting psychological research incorporating advanced computer technology is one of the main objectives of the project.
Research tool (working name ”Q3D”) developed as a result of the project will be a web application allowing for 3D graphics exposure and allowing to simulate real contact with the stimulus objects. This method allows the study design,prototyping, testing of existing products on the market, as well as other categories of objects that can be presented in the form of three-dimensional digital models.Implementation of research using Q3D provides quantitative and qualitative data about attitudes and emotional reactions to objects, and will also allow to assess the respondents’ attention and the level of individual respondents memorized patterns. The use of the web application will allow the recruitment of large and representative samples of respondents from online panels (the cheapest method of access to respondents), running research at any place and time (only requirement is to provide access to broadband Internet), and significantly reduce the time of the implementation of the research.Parallel to the development of web applications, a laboratory version will be designed, allowing for (1) the use of methods for measuring physiological responses and (2) natural, physical interaction with the elements of the 3D environment.