Product names as a medium of communication from designers to target users

Khalaj J., Pedgley O. F.

8th International Conference on Design and Emotion: Out of Control, London, United Kingdom, 11 - 14 September 2012 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: London
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Keywords: Communication, Product form perception, Product names, User experience


This paper presents an empirical study into the names that people assign to products, based on visual form qualities. The study considers the relationship between a designer and target users of a product, within the context of communication. The emphasis is on meanings that are elicited from product names, specifically the communicative aspect of aesthetic, symbolic, and emotional characteristics of visual product form described through product names. A product name is considered as a symbolic description of designers' intended messages with reference to product form. The fieldwork involved evaluations of newly designed Turkish seating furniture (n=8), by questioning both the original designers of the products (n=4) and representatives of target user groups (n=80). The results reveal that product names related to (i) the 'perceived character of product visual qualities' and (ii) 'personality aspects of product behaviour' can successfully convey designers' intended messages.